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tv   First Ladies As Influence Makers  CSPAN  August 17, 2013 7:00pm-12:01am EDT

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host. sunday on book tv on c-span >> we bring you look affairs of vince to you, putting you in the room at congressional hearings, white house events, and conferences, offering gavel to gavel caught rents -- coverage of the u.s. house. created by the cable tv industry 34 years ago and funded by your local cable or satellite provider. you can watch us and hd. >> season two of first ladies against monday, september 9. look at the life of edith roosevelt. encore presentations of season one. programs on every first lady from martha washington-ida mckinley.
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>> she was not happy her husband had been elected president. she never made it to washington. >> when he resigned, he and his wife and their family moved here to williamsburg. it was here that letitia tyler suffered a stroke. john tyler learned he was elected as vice president of william perry region william henry harrison. it is here that he became 10th president of the united states, so she learned she became the first lady. >> she had another terrible stroke, and her husband goes
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into morning, and then he meets another young lovely in her 20's. >> i think of her as the madonna of first ladies. she posed as a model at a time that was frowned upon, by all accounts was bewitching. >> there were 90 slaves, and they were her supervision. julia lobbied for her husband, and she supported him tremendously in everything she did. >> untimely death, a secret marriage, and outsize personality are stories of the women we examined tonight. good evening, and welcome to the
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season series of first ladies. william henry harrison was in office, and a month later, he dies. to learn about time, we have the chair of the history department, and she has been working with us many times on this series. nice to see you again. school children have all grown up with the phrase, tippecanoe tyler too. he was elected at age of 68, a record no president beat until ronald reagan. who was this? >> i announce with a bit of pride he was from my home
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county, but he moved to ohio. he was a military man initially. he studied medicine for a short time and decided to join the military and shortly thereafter moved to ohio. he became the territorial governor of indiana and was a noted indian fighter. the term tippecanoe comes from the battle of tippecanoe, where he fought with his brother. as territorial governor, tyler was -- harrison was instrumental in securing land for white settlers, and that clashed with
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native american interest, so i've done battle, harrison was considered the victor. -- at that battle, harrison was considered the victor. it carried him into public office. >> his wife was not happy about him being drawn back into politics. we have a quote from her that says, i wish my husband's friends have left him where he was, happy and contented. how was he drawn into politics again? let's talk about what type of political spouse he was. >> it is an interesting time, because it is the time of the second american party system. there are two distinct parties, the democratic party with andrew jackson as leader and the whig party.
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william henry harrison becomes a member of the weak party after it was founded. he was the first candidate for the whig party after it was founded. he was the first candidate for that party in 1836. the democrats were divided enough they could win. >> anna harrison had been with him through a long political career. what do we know about her? >> we know she was a religious woman. we know she was a reluctance first lady. she did not get to be first lady and the white house, because the day her husband and other members of the family left to go to washington, she was too ill to travel. the day she was all packed up
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and ready to join him in washington was the day she got notification he died. >> how did he die? >> that is an interesting question. the answer was always that he was not going to wear a top hat and topcoat to his inauguration, and he was exposed to cold weather and caught a cold and died. i think it is more complex than that. he was an older gentleman. he was exhausted by office seekers in the first month of his presidency, and i think all of that compromised his health, so he did eventually catch a bad cold that turns into pneumonia, and as a consequence, he did die. >> anna harrison was the first
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first lady to have a public education. but she certainly did read political journals, but i do not believe she was a political person. i do not believe she would have the role other first ladies would later on, especially the person who follows her. the second person, john tyler's second wife, but at least during the time, even though she did not come to the white house, she did use her influence to get appointments for her nephews and sons and grandsons, so she would have been political in that way
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but not the way he would think of with someone like julia tyler. >> which we will learn more of tonight. and this comment, she must have had good genes. what was going on in the harrison family that it produced so many political leaders? >> they were one of the first families of virginia, so you would have had them be involved in the revolution. they have a long history of political involvement. i think it is where they are located by the mid 1800's in the northwest territory, in this area that is opening up in the country, and these men are getting politically involved because of its. >> our facebook page asks, is it
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true she helped raise her son who became president? any influence she had on her son who became president? >> her home burned, and she went to live with one of the sons. what influence she had, we do not know. grandma's to have an influence. >> there was only a month in the white house, but there were some social things and had to happen. how did that role get fulfilled without first lady? >> there were two other women who carry out her duties. one was jane irving harrison, who was a widow. she was married to one of the harrison men, but he died. now william henry asked her to serve in that capacity, and she
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was assisted by one of her aunts. she gave her some guidance. she was not the official hostess, but she did give guidance. >> is it true dolly madison also was around to offer advice? >> i think she offered advice whenever she got away with it. she would have been nearby from time to time. >> one last thing legacy was she was the first presidential window to get attention for her service. how did that happen? >> for husband died in office, and she needed the assistance, so congress inappropriate $35,000 for her. >> which was not an on substantial amount of money. when he dies in office this is
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the first time this has happened. did it create a constitutional crisis? >> it certainly did. the constitution does indicate if the president is not there, those duties on the vice president, but it did not say what the status of that person would be. would he be carrying out the duties as vice president, as acting president, or as the new president, sir john tyler decided he was not going to let them thing too long about it, so he declared himself president,
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and he had congress pass resolutions declaring him president. not everyone agrees with that, so occasionally mail came to new the white house addressed to the acting president or the vice president, and he had those documents returned unopened. >> who was tyler? >> he was born in virginia. he lived only a couple of miles down the road from the harrison a state. he was born in green way. he was an interesting president, because although he was elected on the ticket with william henry harrison, he had been a jacksonian democrats early on in his political career and had joined the whig party, but once he became president, he abandoned the weak platform and angered them.
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>> we are going to learn more about the john tyler presidency and the women who served as his first lady. we are going to introduce you to the lives they had not been what we call colonial williamsburg. >> when john tyler resigned from the senate, he and his wife and their families moved here to williamsburg to establish a law practice. he reconstructed his law office. the house they live in was no longer here. they were situated in the center of the town. the court house is right across the street. this is the beating heart of williamsburg, even in the 1830's, so all of the political activity, the social activity, they are living in the center of it in this fantastic 18th-
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century house. john tyler was resurrected in his political career. she is going to be operating out of the house. right here, letitia tyler suffered a stroke in 1839. that partly would paralyze her, although she was able to regain control of the family business while john tyler was getting involved in politics. it was in this space john tyler learned he was elected as vice president to william henry harrison, and it was also here in the spring of 1841 he was informed he became the 10th president of the united states, and it was here that she learned she became the first lady of the united states.
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>> now we are back on set, and joining us is the gentleman you saw on the video. he is a colonial williamsburg historian. he is also an expert on the area where the tylers hail from. give us a sense of what kind of characteristics of a person of public life would bring from the office from having been there. >> i think when you are talking about virginia, you are getting over the american revolution, not letting go of thomas jefferson and the kind of revolutionary principles but are supposed to inform public conduct and public virtue, but by the time you get to john tyler's career, those things start to coalesce into notions about states' rights, notions about what is the proper use of the constitution, notions about
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the extent of authority. you hear them talk a great deal about the principles of 1798, about the kentucky resolution and the ability of the states to override a unconstitutional actions, so these principles of the american revolution are being fought over, but also the kinds of things that come from the expectation of a public leader. they need to be virtuous. that is the only way you can make a good public policy. >> stephanie johnson wants to know where did they meet. >> they met where almost everybody meets at the time. in williamsburg. they lived not that far from each other. john tyler is from charleston county in a place called green
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way, and letitia tyler is from kent county, which is only a stone's throw away, and we know they met in about 1811 or 1812. john tyler went to william and mary with letitia's brother. they were the same age. they were 21 and 22 when they met, and they fell in love very quickly. >> we have been incorporating your tweets. can also call us. we are hoping you texans call up, because this administration was responsible for the
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annexation of texas. the tylers have a lot of children. >> it is what kept them apart for a great deal of their married lives. john tyler was constitutionally incapable of being out of public office. he was addicted to it so left her at home to run the family, to run the business, and to continue to manage this incredible group of children they had almost from the very start. >> running their plantation would have been how large an operation? >> one of the issues is a are always on the very edge of solvency, so they never live one place more than 10 years.
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they are always moving around. they own between 30 and 35 slaves, and they are growing wheat and corn for about 600 acres to 900 acres, and that is between plantations. they then moved to the other side of virginia, so they are continuing to try to figure out a way during these striking economic changes to the country and go into what is going on in 1837, to find a way they can keep their heads above water, and with john tyler gone for so long and so often, six months out of every year while the is in public office, this leaves a lot of burden resting on
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letitia's shoulders. >> this was a tough woman. she had a stroke and was paralyzed and continued to handle operations. >> that is indicative of the kind of life women live, even wealthy women. life was tough for them, but it was made easier for them by enslaved laborers, and they did use those to great advantage for them. >> what is known for their attitude at this point toward slavery? >> we know quite a bit. john tyler is one of the staunchest supporters of slavery that ever inhabited the white house. he was vocal about it through most of his career, and he said, slavery is the greatest property
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a southerner can own. he believes it is the backbone of society. letitia we know less about. we know from a story that ends up in abolitionist press in the 19th century of a former enslaved man who had been a member of a christian family who recalled that john taylor may have been less kind to enslave men and women in the field, but when it came to the enslaved men and women in the household, he stopped right there. they were under letitia's protection. they were treated well. you could read into a story like that, but john tyler's views were consistent. letitia was different. >> here is 1840 view of america through the senses.
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the population reached 17 million in 26 states. we consistently see 30%. slaves #2.5 million, which is almost 15% of the population, and new orleans joins the list of the largest cities in the united states. we heard about the tylers and their attitude toward slavery. give us an indication of what was happening in 1840. >> this is a tremendous time of sexual tension. we like to think the country is divided regionally, that everyone in the north is anti slavery and everyone in the south is proslavery. it is not that simple. people in the north benefited from slavery and the slave trade
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until it was ended. they now move into a different economic arena. they no longer need slavery, and slippery as a threat to them because of the free labor system in the north, and the kinds of the economy that is needed to preserve institutions in the north are different from those in the south, so what is happening in congress is both groups want to control legislation, because if you are in more industrialized regions, we want certain parts of laws passed to preserve the economy. if you are more agrarian, you will need laws to support that.
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there is a tremendous amount of concern about the expansion of slavery. it is not so much the northerners are anti slavery because they are humanitarian. it is because of how slavery impacts them or how expansion impacts them. >> our first caller from michigan. >> and now i love the series. i would like to know what is the duration of both of the president's marriages, and how many children would he have as a result of those marriages? thank you so much. >> i saw one book and referred to john tyler was the father of our country. >> i think they have 16 or 17 children. >> i did the total was 15.
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now there were 8 by letitia and 7 by julia. >> he was married to letitia for 29 years, and he was married to julia for 18. >> the tylers learn of the fact they are coming to the white house and he is the 10th president of the united states. her health is precarious. how does she carry out the role as first lady? >> it depends on how you define the role. what is first lady? is it somebody married to the president, or do they have to fulfill these roles? she is by nature a retired person. she prefers a quiet life. now she does not like the kind
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of quiet activities of first lady who would normally associate with. even without her illness, i think it would have been a fairly quiet white house. that does not mean there are not other people to fulfill these roles. that means she has to have other people do it for them. it is a close-knit family. they have a lot of daughters living in the white house. she turned that over to them. >> gary robinson asked, what role did priscilla cooper have in the white house and after her death? >> she served as hostess, and especially with the daughter,
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letitia, she is an interested person, because she was an actress at a time when it was not a good thing. it was not considered respectable, but the tylers and accepted her. letitia accepted her. she was very close to her. she would have been performing most of the functions. it is not so much that she was not doing anything. even though she was disabled, she is still giving orders from her bedroom. she cannot go out the way her daughter can. >> do we have any evidence his daughter counseled him? >> yes.
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she said, stay out of it. as we talk about it, he could not stay out of politics. she gave up. as we mentioned over and over again, he respected her prudence and judgment that political issues he reserved those for conversations with his male friends. >> there were conversations about whether there should be appropriations for this vice- president but assumed the presidency and whether they should pay for his time in the white house, yet you ascertain they pay for so much. how did they do that? >> they did not appropriate money. the white house was and i absolute mess at that time.
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he must have used his own funds to entertain people, and they did entertain lavishly. >> how did they do that? >> you assume a lot of this is coming out of the salary. one of the people who was most extravagant was john tyler himself. he spends most of his life handing his family, trying to keep them outside of it, yet there are lavish entertainment, so for some they are taking a page out of the book. she will hold two formal dinner parties every week. every other week she will do public receptions in the evenings. she will hold public parties every month that will have as many as 1000 people.
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she opened the white house on new year's eve. she opened the white house on july 4. she started the tradition on the south lawn. they are finding ways to do that. they might be doing it with mirrors, because congress does not appropriate a cent for the upkeep of the white house during his term as president. >> next, a call from marvin in los angeles. >> by next question has to do with the constitution. it says, the electors shall meet in their respective states and vote by ballot for two persons, for whom cannot be from the same state. if both of them came from the same county, how can they be president and vice president?
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my second part is, is it true tyler was called his accidency because of the way he took over as president through the death >> yes then? accidental president for his accidency because no one expected that john tyler wasn't going to ascend to the presidency. >> what kinds of issues in the face?
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personal ones, people didn't trust them. they didn't like him. they didn't expect that he was going to be on the ticket in the first place. they were fine with letting him go off and would've -- live in williamsburg while he was in the white house. so those are personal things he has to deal with. the broader political issues are really -- there's certainly the issue over the renewal of the bank of the united states. there are major issues all over the tariff and over protective tariffs and how he felt about it, depends on what part of the country you lived in. but of course the biggest one that comes up to define the presidency i think is really about the ex pax of slavery -- expansion of slavery. the annexation of texas and what that means for either the republic or its weak innocence terms of what you think of the impact that has on slavery.
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>> next is a call from harold watching us in sioux city, iowa. >> yes, thank you for taking my call. i really enjoy the program. my question is, you've had a number of talks about jackson and tyler and they both had slaves. how did those slaves fare after and during the civil war and were those plantations burnt by the yankees? or how did that come out? i'll hang up and let you answer. thank you. >> certainly the union army is coming through, twice, actually, as a consequence of mcclellan's peninsula campaign. and each time that the union army comes through, the enslaved population leaves. they take the opportunity to leave. what's happening in charles city, on the tyler plantation is that julia has left. she has fled and gone to new york, stanton island, to live
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with her mother. -- staten island to live with her mother. so there are enslaved people left behind. and it is reported that some of them take over the plantation. certainly the house is -- there are some things that are done by the union army, probably, and perhaps by local people as well. the plantation is in a bit of a mess when the war is over. this is not that unusual for plantations in certain areas of the south. at that time. they certainly do -- enslaved people certainly do suffer during the war but they get their freedom as a consequence of it as well. and so there is an incident where julia writes to president lincoln because one of her neighbors, who is a notorious you is sessionest -- secessionist is arrested by the union army and it happens to be a part of the union army that's under the
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control of general wilede who is commander of the african -- wilde who is commander of the african brigade. and some of the people attached to that unit had been enslaved by this gentleman, and they are allowed to beat him and julia is absolutely enraged at the idea. she's also concerned as well that they are niece is left behind. so she's concerned about her well-being. but she actually writes to president lincoln and complains about it and she signs her letter, "mrs. ex-president tyler." she loved to use that. >> we haven't even introduced julia into our tale yet. tell us about the death of letitia tyler. >> she died on september 10 in 1842. she had a massive stroke. >> did she die instantly? >> there's no evidence that there's any kind of lingering, that
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she dies fairly quickly. and it is -- it hits the family like a ton of bricks. >> was there a white house funeral for her? >> not that we know of. they kept things very private and in fact she was buried at her home, a place, rather than at anyplace else that they may have lived. she was buried at her home, with her parents. it was a very quiet, a very quiet event. but it was mostly manifested in the kind of impact that it had on her children. they were devastated. >> what about the president himself? what was his reaction to losing his wife? >> at the time, from his letters, we know that he was obviously emotionally attached to letitia. she had been a huge part of his life for a very long time and he loved her dealer. however, we also have evidence that he's seeing julia gardner tyler probably about four months after her death. >> and who is julia gardner? >> julia gardner is young woman
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from long island, new york, from where in fact anna harrison had gone to school. she is from a very well-known, long-standing new york family with ties deep into the 17th century. they own gardners island and -- her family still owns gardners island, and her father was a new york state senator. they were in washington frequently for the social seasons and she was well known at the white house and was well known to the daughters of the tylers and was even known to come over not just for the parties but to do things like quiet games. so the family knew her quite well. she was quite beautiful. and quite ram bunk shuss and was
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very well educated both here and in europe. so it made her quite a charming woman to be around. >> and she quickly caught the widowed president's eye. >> she quickly caught the widowed president's eye. this moved shockingly quickly. >> we have to establish the difference in age between the two. >> yes. julia gardner is 30 years, almost exactly, younger -- was 30 years younger than john tyler. and so when they got married she was 24 and he was 54. >> one of the amazing things, we told you how many children john tyler had. one of his grandchildren is still alive and inhabits the tyler's home in tide water area, virginia. you're looking at it right now. he and his wife are residents of the house that they also make available for tourists.
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he's 84 years old and we visited him recently in sherwood forest, the tyler's home. >> so, when they got to the fort, there was a barge into the bay, they fired a big cannon at the barge. everyone was very pleased with it. the ship turned around and headed back to washington. the hard core few wanted to fire again. so they fired -- they wanted to fire again. but it was turned down. now they're passing mount vernon. so the question was changed to stop the ship and fire the gun in honor of our first president. they couldn't turn that down. but when the ship did face
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downstream, the gun fired the cannon, the gun, instead of firing, it blew and killed seven people. among them, senator gardner, also the secretary of state, the secretary of the navy. everyone downstate felt the ship when it exploded. so all the handsome young officers that were surrounding my grandmother, who was 23 years old at the time, but very beautiful, my grand father had been trying to get there and talk to her but couldn't because of all the handsome young naval officers around. but when the explosion happened, they rushed upstairs to do whatever they're trained to do. and left her standing there. she fell in behind them. my grandfather fell in behind her, going up the steps up to the deck, they came running back, calling out, don't let mrs. gardner up, her father is dead. when she heard that, my grandmother fainted, right back into the arms of the president.
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he caught her tenderly and gently. so the ship did go and dock and when it docked he picked her up and carried her down. as she was going down, she came to. later she wrote her mother saying that the first thing she remembered was going down the gang plank in the arms of the president. and she struggled and she could look up into his eyes and she wrote her mother saying, i realized for the first time that the president loved me dealer. >> we promised at the outset that there would be a tale of a secret marriage. tell the story. >> june 26, 1844, it's only four months after the disaster of the u.s.s. princeton. so julia's father's only been dead for four months so there's still a period of mourning that should be publicly and appropriately observed. but he has -- john tyler has secured, even in that rough
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period of time, secured the permission of her mother for them to get married. she was worried about his financial situation and about whether or not he would be able to continue her into the manner she was accustomed and when he was able to do that sufficiently she gave her permission. they had a very, very small, private, secret wedding at a church in new york city. there were only a handful of people there. one of his sons, a couple of his political friends and a few members of her family. but the public didn't know about it until the next day. >> so the president disappears from washington, checks himself into a hotel in new york city and gets married. >> yeah. it shows up in the newspaper that he's just going off to basically -- he's going off to take a vacation. he pops up in new york city and then it's in the newspaper the next day, oh, by the way, the president has just gotten married. to one of new york's most prominent people.
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>> what was the reaction at the time? >> people gossiped about it. it was so soon after his wife's death. although it really was not that soon after her death. but they were very much concerned about the age difference. with many people feeling that it wasn't fair to julia that she was married to this man who was so much older than she was. so, a lot of people didn't like it. his daughters certainly did not. >> they felt it was too soon. >> because they were very local to -- loyal to their mother, understandably. but there was one daughter who never got over it, letitia. and the other daughters made their peace. and the sons never seemed to have a problem with it. but that one daughter never reconciled with her step-mother. >> here is julia tyler, a letter she wrote to her mother about this event. the secrecy of the affair is on the tongue and the admiration of everyone. everyone says it was the best- managed thing they ever heard of.
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>> that's a -- that the secret was, yeah. >> this could be rather self- revealing. the president says, i am the best of diplomattists. i have commenced my auspicious reign and am in the quiet possession of the presidential mansion. this is a 24-year-old woman. what should we learn from this quote about her? >> she sees herself as queen of the land. she had spent some type in europe. after she had very notoriously posed for an engraving where she was advertising products, a store, actually. and that's something that respectable women did not do during that period. her parents had taken -- she and her sister to europe where they were introduced at the court of louis philip of france and
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she admired how the queen received her guests and it was on -- she was seated of course and on a bit of a pedestal. so julia decided to do the same thing for a time. but she saw it very much as she was the first lady of the land. and she was going to make the most of it. >> from a family perspective, does john tyler have children earlier that his wife? >> yes. >> what was the family reaction? >> the family reaction was at first among the daughters very negative and very virulent. that it took -- she said, letitia never reconciled to it. lizzy, it was three months before she even acknowledged that the marriage had taken place. for the youngest daughter, she eventually came around. the oldest daughter came around.
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but the sons were already familiar enough with julia that they were ok with it. by then. >> reading that quote, do we have the sense that this was a young woman with great aspirations or was this really a love match? >> i think that there's probably a little bit of both in that. it's tough for us to divide it out. mainly because the cords that exists between them and whatever happened in terms of their courtship, we know that john's head over heels for her and we know heals for her and we know he's writing shack spearian son ets to her and engaging in that kind of -- sonnets to her and engidge -- engaging in that way of courting her. with her, it depends on who you believe in terms of what her goals are. in the end she ends up being his biggest supporter and biggest defender. and thanks to some very timely advice from her mother was able
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to really put that into action. >> next is a question from claire in maryland. >> hi. i just wanted to say that a few years ago a couple of us went to the sherwood plantation and tyler's grandson was there and he spoke to us for about an hour. he was very gracious. and i wonder if could you just discuss a little bit about their connection with william and peculiary. thank you. -- mary. thank you. >> the connection goes back to the very beginning. you cannot separate william and mary from the tyler family at all. even to the present day, the tylers go there. harrison's father was president of william manned mary. his father -- mary. his father had gone to william and mary and had been chancellor of william and mary. his father had gone to william and mary. and the place is as tied with the tylers as the university of virginia is tied with thomas jefferson.
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>> another quote which may give some indication of the match between the tylers. this is julia writing about the president again in a letter to her mother. really, do you think there was ever a man so equal to any emergency? it is a sort of inspiration, for his ideas are expressed at the moment of any emergency with perfect fluency and effect. [laughter] question from rachel davidson. how did julia gardner, a northerner, feel about becoming a slave owner upon her marriage to john tyler? >> that's an easy one. she comes from a family of slave owners. new york doesn't abolish slavery until 1817. the gardners owned slaves. there are slaves at gardner's island, that are owned by her family when she's born in 1820 she's as much born into the slave culture as anybody living in the tidewater. >> were there slaves in the white house in 1940? >> there must have been. the tylers would have brought enslaved people with them. we know that when the
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peacemaker, the gun, blew up on the princeton, one of the enslaved men owned by tyler was killed. and so clearly he had some of his enslaved people there in the white house with him. >> you talked earlier about julia tyler having done this advertisement. she earned the monday consider, the rose of long island. she brought that sense of sensibility to her job, her eight months as the first lady. it is written in some books that she had the services of what would be thought of as a press agent. >> the president himself didn't have a press agent. >> no, not at all. >> she loved publicity. the more notorious the better. she made it a point of cultivating the friendship of a reporter and she would report what was happening in the white house in
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terms of the social events and he gave her a lot of personal attention in the articles that he wrote about her. so she was out there in a way that, as i indicated before, respectable women did not do. but this is a new era. this is the time when the women's movement is under way and interestingly enough, you know, someone like julia tyler sort of fits into a certain extent. she's very conservative in some ways but in terms of breaking through the traditional way that a woman should behave, she's doing it in a way that other women are not at that time. >> this series is called "influence and image" so let's spend a few minutes on this image subject. in having someone help her with her press, she had these young women who traveled with her. they became known as the vessle virgins.
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-- vessel virgins. >> it seems that what she did was develop herow own court. -- develop her own court. the notion that a first lady could not possibly be seen alone, that there is -- that she is respecting, and this is an interesting point about the development of the institution, that she's respecting something much bigger and so she had these young women who were joining her. they would call them the vessel virgins, they would call them a number of different things depending on which newspaper you were reading. but that she really believed that she was respecting something much bigger than just being the wife of the president. and to do that it requires display. it requires a very conscious shaping of image as political communication which gets back to the point you were making. >> she would receive her guests surrounded by these women, all
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dressed in white. >> and what was the public reaction to this? did they love it or criticize it? >> they seemed to be able to do no wrong. she had her critics but a lot of people loved her. especially men. [laughter] she also brought dancing to the white house. >> right. she brought the polka she brought a number of things to the white house. but i think that when you're starting -- you're starting to get into the perceptions of that. it does work both ways. especially with the growth of the abolitionist press. that the abolitionist press starts to see these things that julia's doing in the white house, this level of extravagance, as being yet another example of the corruption of the slave parties. particularly in a distressed economic period, how could they be doing that? the only way is because they are gathering all of their wealth and benefits from the fact that they own other people. so in terms of the growth of
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that abolitionist press and the abolitionists send people just to keep an eye on the tyler white house and report back on things like this. what julia is doing is in fact in some quarters very detrimental to that broader image while in other quarters, you know, it's very beneficial to supporting the idea of the impeeferial -- imperial presidency. >> in a certain extent she redeems herself when she responds to the duchess of southerland who criticized slavery in america and she writes a letter back and says pretty much, you need to take care of business at home. you've got people from the lower class there who are starving. and so she doesn't say slavery is right, but she does imply that slavery's not as bad as what's happening in england. >> joe in pennsylvania. you're on for our panel. >> hi. i love your series. >> thank you. what's your question? >> i read somewhere that john tyler played the violin. and did any of his wives play any musical instrument?
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>> thank you. do we know? >> i haven't the faintest clue. he certainly -- john tyler certainly played the violin and if you go to sherwood forest you can see the violin. >> and julia played the guitar. >> speaking of music, and image making, it's said that she was the one who had the idea of hail to the chief being played whenever the president entered a room. >> may have been mrs. polk. >> no evidence. all right. and she was obviously from the photograph of her, just rather fashion conscious and wore beautiful outfits. did she become a trend setter for women at the time? >> i don't know. >> had it become the point do we know where women were beginning to watch what the first lady wore and imitate these things? >> i think this gets into the development of mass communication of the period and really what you're able to do in terms of emulating dress.
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that while engravings are certainly appearing in more and more newspapers, you're still relying mainly on the writtenen word in order to get across the impression of any kind of clothing. so in a particular way you might be able to set a trend if she's railing -- wearing a veil or something like, that but for the most part it's not until much late when are there are many more images that are able to show up in a more sophisticated, technologically speaking, american press that you're able to get to the point where you have trends that can be identified in order to move on. >> julia tyler was also very political and interested in her husband's political career and we move on to the influence part of her role as first lady. eight short months she was in this role. she was very much involved in a major policy issue that was talked about or revensed already and that's the annexation of texas. we return now to sherwood forest where the staff of the president's grandson talks about
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julia's lobbying for this policy. let's listen. >> she lobbied politically, phenomenally, oh, my dear, for her husband. she had parties at the white house to lobby. tyler was immensely dedicated to the concept of the annexation of texas to the union. and during that period she was able to sway calhoun, a kinsman of my mother's, from south carolina, and she was able to sway calhoun to vote for the annexation of texas and she worked on henry clay but i don't know whether she was really successful or not. but she took henry clay out to din around this is a woman -- dinner and this is a woman without a chaperon, a president's wife, alone, having dinner with henry clay and she didn't mind at all. and she wrote her mother a letter which i think is priceless. she says, mother, mr. clay was a little insulting. when i told him that my husband
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wanted him to vote for the annexation of texas, he said to me, i am right, texas should not be an exed to the union. and -- should not be annexed to the union and, mrs. tyler, i want you to know that i would rather be right than be president and i replied, my dear sir, my husband is both. i truly think that the reply is almost better than the statement from clay which we hear so frequently. >> how significant was julia tyler's role in the ultimate decision to annex texas? >> well, you know, she's keeping tabs of where people stand because she's going to congress, she's listening to debates. she's trying to twist the arms. i don't think she's that important to it. she's representing her husband's interests, certainly. she supports that, but whether or not she has influence over any particular congressman, i'm
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not so sure about that. >> do you have an opinion about this? >> she certainly believes she has a lot of influence. i'm with dr. medford. there were much more complicated balls in the political era over the texas annexation era, especially in those months after the election, people know that james polk is going to be the next president. the treaty to annex texas had already been defeated by the senate. and they have to come up with a new way of trying to accomplish this. they had to come up to a new -- not terribly constitutional i with a of trying to accomplish this if they're going to accomplish it at all. so they have to go through the match nations of the joint resolutions set for december of 1844. but that involves much broader political questions in terms of where people are in this political realignment in america that's going on at the time. there's -- the whigs are breaking down. the republicans have long broken
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down. anti-jacksonians. but she firmly believes that she's responsible. john tyler believes that she's responsible, when on march 1, 1845, he signs the joint resolution to annex texas. he gives her the pen, the pen that he sign it's with. and she put it around her neck and wore it as a trophy. >> let's take our next question. it is from haren in greenfield, california. >> hello. >> you're on. welcome. >> my question is about john tyler's second wife julia. in the years after he left the presidency, about the time when the civil war began, he was trying to stop virginia from seceding but he was unsuccessful. later he supported the succession movement in virginia and because of that he was considered a traitor but he died in 1862. so my question is, how did -- was his wife julia trying to
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redeem his good name after he died in the years following the civil war? >> well, actually, we're bog to let that story unfold over the next 15 or 20 minutes. thank you for asking the question. we will move on there in a couple of minutes. let me ask about as you're talking about the evolving role of the first lady. we learned that the whole -- madison era, bringing her name up again, practiced the art of parlor politics and that was emulated by her successors. is this the first instance of a first lady get much more personally involved in a political issue that we know of? >> when you're talking about a main matter of public legislation, of public policy, i think it's tough to find another first lady who is so overtly engaged in kind of effort whether it's -- whether that level of influence is successful or is meaningful or not. she's certainly being out there actively supporting her
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husband's position on annexation. she's talking to everyone she can about it. she's writing a great deal about it. she is holding all of the social events at the white house in order to influence that piece of legislation. so if we're talking about favorite lady as being involved in a matter of national public policy and being involved explicitly so, i think maybe you can take that to julia tyler. >> here's a question about first ladies and their perceived influence. jennifer sherman asked on twitter -- tyler having gotten to washington as first lady of the united states, secret service lingo, i think, believed she had a lot of influence rightly so. based on first ladies seen thus far, do you think they all felt this way, they were influential women as spouses of their influential husbands? >> i'm not so sure all of them wanted to be. that's the first thing. she's perhaps the first who
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really wanted to get involved in that way. the other women i think are willing to simply play the traditional role, although you have some woman who may be saying all kinds of things to their husbands. they're not making it public. we don't know exactly what we're saying for their husbands. in terms of that influence. but in terms of influencing outside of their own household, it's not likely they even care to serve in the next capacity, most of them. >> next is a question from linda spiro or spyro? >> spyro. >> welcome. >> good evening. >> good evening. i would like to know how did it affect his relationship with julia and their marriage with their children from letitia? how did the relationship affect them? thank you for taking my call. >> thank you very much. did the criticism from the
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daughters affect their marriage, i think that's the question? >> no, there's no evidence that it did. in fact because the daughters came around relatively soon, except again for letitia, they real blame very big, fairly close-knit family all gathered there for the most part at sherwood forest. the civil war does a lot of that in bringing them more close together because the members of the family that are cast in other parts, like her son robert, who is in philadelphia, they have to come back to sherwood forest but they do see, start to see julia not necessarily as a stepmother but they refer to her, some of them refer to her as a sister and certainly come to love her and appreciate her and accept her into the family as such so that her children and letitia's children, although there are considerable age difference, they do end up more than reconciled. they become very, very close. >> you spoke earlier with party politics, john tyler was castigated by the wigs
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essentially, thrown out of the party for some of his positions. so he was the man without -- president without a party when the next selection came around in 1844. no chance of him being nominated. >> especially since he alienated the other parties. there was no one there to really support him. >> it was certain to be a one- term president. >> absolutely. >> and with his loss then, how did the tylers recognize their departure from washington? >> partied, of course, and champagne. tyler -- the last two weeks of the tyler presidency is really nothing but julia gardiner at her -- gardiner tyler at her absolute extravagant best. they start off with a party for like 3,000 people. two weeks later this have a party to celebrate james knox polk and annexation of texas. and john tyler then says, you can no longer serve and the man was out a party. >> and they returned to sherwood forest.
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we're going to see a little bit of their life there next. before we do that, let's take a question from robin in norman beach, florida. hi, robin. >> hi, there. i'm following along at home with my first lady flash cards. >> perfect. >> i have a question with regard to fashion. was the bonnet or head dress so prevalent in earlier portrait for first ladies, with miss -- the first lady harrison, was that more matronly first ladies or personal preference? and for tyler, when would the first president wear what we would regard a modern neck tie, what year? thank you. >> thank you. >> the development of the modern neck tie from the provad, i think you're starting to get -- you're starting to get well into the late 19th century by the time you're seeing something like that. the way that the fashion the presidents and shock my historian friends by even going
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into this subject. but the way that, that develops over time is really interesting in the 1820's and 1830's after james monroe leaves the white house. monroe is the last of the folks who are sort of holding on to the 18th century way of dressing. so year able to see much more modern dress progressively after that. >> on the women's side of fashion question, we follow rachel jackson also wearing sort of head bonnet as we did with anna harrison. was that city versus country, regional or was it changing companies? >> that had nothing to do with it but you see with julia tyler something very different. you see the beads in her hair. she has feathers in her hair from time to time. so she dresses very differently. so it's probably more cosmopolitan with some of the first ladies because of the urban influence and age too. age does have something to do with it.
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>> anna harrison was in her mid--to-late 60's and julia tyler 24 years old when she came into the job so brought young sensibility with her. they left washington in 1845 and returned to their homes in the virginia tide water area, sherwood forest. by the way, how did it get its name >> it got its name because during one of -- during one of john tyler's breaks with the wigs, he was referred to as robin hood. so he embraced that and, therefore, called their home sherwood forest and julia embraced it too. she got there, she basically gave uniforms and gave uniforms to the enslaved men who rode the riverboat so she had bows and arrows as part of their -- as part of -- sewn on the collar as part of their uniforms. >> let's return to sherwood forest and learn more about what the tylers' life was like after the white house. >> the tylers, john tyler was
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born in charles city county at greenway. and he purchased this house at the end of his presidential term. he came down here once before he retired from the presidency, brought with him julia gardiner. they were married. she said the hand of god and nature have been kind to my sherwood forest, but i can improve upon it. which she did. she had a look around the ceilings. she had moldings imported from italy. she had the mantel pieces brought in from italy and the knocker on the front door has -- you have to look hard to see it, it has sherwood forest on it but it's been meticulously polished through the years and that was one of her contributions to the house. julia and her mother were very, very close and we are exceedingly fortunate to have
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many letters written between julia and her mother from this plantation. in the hot summer weather. this house is only one room wide because want the breezes to go from the north to the south and from the south to the north. and so they would sit in the hall quite frequently and she sat in the open doorway that led to the south porch and wrote letters to her mother. and quite frequently she commented on the president, who kept his feet on the banister. and would read his newspaper and throw it on the floor, in the gray room is a table and it's the table upon which we are told john tile -- tyler sent julia tyler breakfast in her bedroom after he had been around the house. after his horseback ride, woe go to that table have breakfast with his wife, which he personally would carry in on a tray because she was still in bed. and also her mother writes her,
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and as i understand from other people that visit you that you sleep until 9:00 in the morning. and that the president brings you breakfast in bed. and she says, please do not take advantage of an elderly gentleman who dotes upon you. in the afternoons, julia writes to her mother frequently what she's doing on this plantation. she reports almost every purchase of furniture in the house, her brothers, david and alexander, who were still at princeton came upon the suggestion of mrs. gardiner her buying agent. for instance, the mirror was ordered from a store called daudans and when it comes, she's very distressed because the edges of it cover at the bottom the edge of the mirror face of the window facing. her mother writes her back and says don't be so picky on minutia. she did love to entertain and we
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do have the record of all which she had. in honor of her sister margaret, who came here very frequently, and the portrait here is a portrait of julia and margaret. she was two years younger then margaret and this portrait was painted obviously to represent gardiners allen because you can see the water in the background and they were very, very young when the portrait was done. anyway, the moral -- ball she had for margaret started at 9:00. then she said they danced the virginia real and waltz until the sun rose and finest champagne flowed unceasingly among one thing that julia did here for entertainment is they allowed all of the house servants' children to play continuously with the children of the big house. the matters, julia tyler speaks of her children playing with the
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children in the yard and she speaks of their dancing with the children in the yard. the supervision of a house servants and there were many. there were a total of almost 90 slaves. vacillating number between 61 and 92 on the plantation. so the house servants. i think there were 13 house servants here. and they were totally her supervision as was the care, the medical care of the other servants in the plantation. they were happy in this household. and she loved it. she refers to the melody of his voice. she always refers to his intelligence. she had a wonderful time here. >> and also the newlyweds then commenced raising the large family that we talked about. seven children born to the tylers before he died in 1862. is that when he passed? >> i think.
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>> so a question, she refers to the slavery issue which we have come back to throughout the program and country itself is marching inexorable towards the civil war. what was john tyler's post white house role in that momentous period of time? >> well, in 1861 there was an attempt to stay succession and john tyler was very instrumental in that particular, that last- ditch effort to do that. there was a peace conference held in washington and he was very much -- in february of 1861. and he was very much a part of that. once that failed he decided to back the confederacy, to back succession and so when he died, he had been elected to the confederate congress. he was very much a secessionist. and when he died, his coffin was
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covered with the confederate flag. and the north, the union, did not acknowledge his having passed. >> so we have a former president of the united states, who gets elected to the con fed rid congress. put that into perspective for us. >> it's really extraordinary. and john tyler, previous caller suggested that he really just tried to stem succession. i think not really sure how much his heart was in the washington peace conference that met in the old willard hotel, especially after there was a meeting in the middle of the conference with abraham lincoln, in which abraham lincoln would not back off from his pledge to halt the expansion of slavery. and the document he is all in when it comes to succession. and he's likening succession to 1776, that virginia has finally recovered all of the sovereignty that it had moved to the federal government in the constitution.
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and so they're back in the state that they were in 1776 in order to be able to achieve their independence. but then virginia for a brief period is again a sovereign, independent state. he's instrumental in the negotiations that bring virginia full bore into the confederacy. one of the interesting things about the washington peace conference is that that exact time that he's here in washington, ostensibly trying to ward off civil war, his granddaughter letitia is in the montgomery, alabama, dedicating the new capital of the confederacy by raising the new stars and bars over that building. >> we have been showing you some of julia tyler's letters and here's one she wrote to her mother about the civil war. she wrote, the southerners are worn completely wrought up to it and would not be tampered with any longer. if such a thing should occur, it would be unfortunate for the north. not a good predictor what would happen.
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how did the civil war impact julia's life especially after john died? so what happened to her after john died? >> she leaves and she goes to -- to staten island to live with her mother and she spends the entire -- i think she actually goes to bermuda for a short period of time. yes, so she's not at sherwood forest. and, of course, she's impacted financially by the war because she loses her enslaved laborers, first of all, and she doesn't really -- she returns there to try to get it into some kind of order but she doesn't live there again, i don't believe. she spends the remaining years, i believe, in richmond. she has rented a home there and so she spends a lot of time in richmond but not in the county anymore. >> what is the public perception of her post war?
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>> in the south, quite good. in the north, not quite so good. she's still referred to in the south as the ex-president tress and something she insists upon. john tyler's memory is still revered in the south after the war as being somebody who's able to legitimize the cause of the confederacy and julia gardiner tyler certainly is contributing kind of to this lost cause notion of something she refers to as holy southern cause. so she never -- there really sent demand of rehabilitation of her husband because in the south she doesn't feel like he needs to be rehabilitated except when it comes to getting her pension. which is something she desperately needs. they have two homes, sherwood forest and summer home near hampton, virginia and they -- which actually goes through the same kind of damage that sherwood forest goes through.
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she has to sell that property in order just to maintain sherwood forest, which again is mostly for them effectively to live in and spend a lot of the time fighting for her pension, which she doesn't get until 1881 when she's awarded $1,200 a year but the main argument against it is yes, she may have been first lady but your husband actually became a traitor to the united states so there's no reason why we should ever honor that. >> on the phone with us now is christopher leahy. he's an associate professor of history in new york and with his spouse is coeditor of the julia gardiner tyler papers. mr. leahy, how voluminous are her papers? and what is the broad scope of what we can learn about this woman and the white house from them? >> well, her papers are very voluminous. there are two major collections. one at the sterling library at yale university and the other
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major collection at the college of william and mary. and we can learn pretty much everything about her life from the time that she marries john tyler in 1844 until just about the time that she dies in 1889. these are very rich source that cover every aspect of her life and her children's lives. >> we have been spending the past 45 minutes or so trying to paint a portrait of her. what does it feel like this added to that from her work with your papers? >> well, you know, i think that history tends to remember julia for the frivolity and the fact she was a young first lady for the first eight months but i think that obscures her true character. remember, she lived 27 years after her husband died so she had another life, literally another life after her husband passed way in 1862. and her papers reveal her to be a very strong woman, a practical woman, a very serious, self-
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possessed, self-assured, adaptable and very devoted to her family. she could be quite tenacious about her family, particularly her children if she felt their interests were being threatened. >> and what is happening with these papers? is there contemporary interest beyond your own is scholarship? talk to us about historical interest in julia tyler. >> well, the main problem with julia's papers is that she has penmanship only a mother could love. fortunately, my wife has become very adept at reading and going through the work, going through the papers. they're very difficult to read, which i think is part of the reason why scholars have not really exploited them for the potential that they hold. i think our work hopefully will bring more of her actual experiences to life, particularly the post- presidential years and particularly the years after her husband passed away in 1862. >> how did you get interested?
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>> well, i did my dissertation on john tyler's pre-presidential career and i am currently at work on a manuscript, book manuscript on john tyler and it just seem a natural fit, natural progression from there once i got into the julia gardiner tyler papers, i realized i wasn't very good at reading them because of the penmanship and my wife very courageously, i think, dove into them and is transcribe them for me so i can do my work on the writing end. >> if someone is interested learning more, are any of the letters published online so they can read some of the letters for themselves? >> yes, i think there are some online. again, very difficult to read. she had a tendency to write -- she would write going left to right and then she would turn the paper and go left to right upside down so there's a very difficult process trying to read these.
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i don't know exactly if there are any online, how easy that would be for a researcher. >> thank you for telling bus your scholarship and we look forward is -- as your work progresses to learn more about this period of history through the writings of julia tyler. thanks for your time. >> thank you very much. >> we have just a few minutes. i would want to get a few more calls in. next one is from bill in fisher, indiana. hi, bill. >> hi, susan, enjoying your show very much and enjoying your two guests as well very much. i was wondering was julia a religious person? and i was wondering about her conversion to catholicism and how that influenced her later life. >> do you know? >> i think i will leave julia's document. >> was she religious, do you know? >> not really but she does join the catholic church later in life and i'm not sure why she actually does that. perhaps the church gains more by that then she does because she's
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always been that tension between protestants and catholics in this country. even though we don't have an official religion, most people think of america as being protestant place. but the fact that she did have a former first lady joining the catholic church in such a public way, i think, sort of elevated the status of catholicism a little bit. >> when in her life did she do this? >> this was i think -- i know it was later in life. yes, much later. a few years before she died, i believe. >> and john tyler is not especially religious guy. even by -- even sort of by the fiscal standards, letitia was a very strong episcopalian, his first wife. he really admired the strength of her faith in her. but john tyler was more of a -- more of a jeffersonian epicurean then he was anything else.
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>> and fred is watching us in san francisco and you're on now, fred. >> yes, hi, thank you. i was -- the three most powerful men in washington at the time were, of course, clay, webster and calhoun. i was wondering if there were any -- even letitia but julia more importantly, what was her attitude towards those three men? >> thank you. >> she certainly would have been very comfortable with calhoun. not so much clay. even though tyler had supported clay at one point. but as tyler became more separated from the wig party then she was going in that direction as well. webster, i'm not so sure but certainly calhoun would have been the person that she would have been closest to in terms of politically. >> at least webster had stuck in tyler's cabinet longer then any of the other original members of the harrison cabinet.
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but i think you're absolutely right. it does come down to where were they in terms of john tyler's politics as to exactly how she felt about them. >> this is margaret watching us from ft. river, new jersey. hello, you're on the air. >> hello. i'm enjoying this very much. i was wondering what president tyler died from? i read that he was elected a virginia representative to the confederate congress and that when he was attending the session, he died just a few minutes after midnight in 1862 and he was 71 years old. also, how old was he when he fathered his last child? >> all right. that's a question mr. stoermer, you know the answer to? >> he was 71. he was never sworn in as a member of the confederate congress. he was just about to be. so he was in richmond for that session. since it was early in -- in '62,
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from what we know, he had caught a cold and died at that age. the last child that they had, i think that he was 68 -- >> because she was 2 years old when he died. >> yes. >> next was a question from darla in austin, texas. after this history lesson in your state's annexation. what is your question for us? >> my question is was the controversy over the annexation of texas only about slavery or were there any other considerations such as considerations about the location and geography of texas being so close to mexico? >> thank you very much, anna medford? >> it was all about slavery. in the 1840's and '50's, you can't really separate the whole struggle over the expansion of slavery into the west. it's about texas. it's about kansas later on. it's slavery front and center.
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>> now, we have about three, four minutes left and as we close out our discussion here. we had learned that julia tyler as a very young woman was very adept at publicity and creating an image for herself. gary robinson asked, how did the united states view her death or had she become private and largely forgotten by then? did she call upon those public relation skills to ensure her legacy? >> not really by the end of her life. she died in 1889. obviously there were a lot of other things going on in the country by then. she had been largely focusing on her family, focusing on her -- focusing on maybe a personal legacy in that sense in maintaining what the family could hold on to. something like sherwood forest so they can pass that on. in terms of the broader kind of working on that image later on in her life, so much of her energy was devoted to -- was devoted to the pension fight. was devoted to other things.
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that was far from her mind by then. >> as we close out here, we talked about a few things she did to advance the role of first lady in this country. how should we remember her historically? >> as the vivacious person she was. quite a bit ambitious. and i think that her story conveys the possibilities for first ladies not all of them pursued her path but she was able to do some things that were significant. >> and what would you say about that question, what is her legacy? >> i say the jury is still out. i think one of the great things about this particular series is helping us re-evaluate what we mean by the first lady, by the institution of the first lady as part of the presidency itself and so you can see, again, the possibilities of a woman in that position. on the other hand, you can also see perhaps some of the limitations as with letitia and number of women we talked about throughout this program. and so i think maybe by the end
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of this series we can get together again and talk about, well, what have we learned about what is the first lady and therefore see what julia tyler's legacy really is. >> what should we think about john tyler's presidency? what was his contribution to america? >> i'm glad you got that question. >> oh, my god, you know, i cannot change my opinion of him. he's a person who turned his back on his own party. ok, that's one thing. he supported a cause that actually was creating serious issues for a whole group of people, a whole race of people. he was more than willing to perpetuate slavery forever if possible. so i can't separate his legacy from that. >> and next week we will learn about the life of his successor in the white house, james k. polk. and we look forward to you being involved with that when we do
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that. let me say thank you at this point to our two guests on the harrison and tyler presidency, edna greene medford, howard university here in washington, d.c. which she chairs the history dept and taylor stoermer, historian for colonial williamsburg. thanks to both of you. this is produced in cooperation with the national white house historical association and we thank them for their help. thank you for being with us. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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>> season two of first ladies begins on monday, september 9 with a look at the life of mrs. roosevelt. all this month, we are showing encore presentations each weeknight at 9:00 p.m. eastern. programs on every first lady. monday night will focus on first ladies julia grant. we are offering a special edition of the book. presenting a biography and portrait of each first lady, comments from noted historians, fromap -- thoughts michelle obama. our website has more on the first ladies including a special section welcome to the white house. it is produced with our partners. it chronicles the life in the
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executive mansion during the tenure of each of the ladies. you can find out more at www.c- >> c-span, we bring up there's directly to you putting you in the room at congressional hearings, white house events, refutes, and commerce is it offering complete coverage of the u.s. house all as a public service a public industry. created by the cable tv industry 34 years ago. now, you can watch us in hd. tonight, and discussion about intelligence gathering and counterterrorism efforts. and look at how technology and innovation in latin america is helping u.s. businesses. a review of the prison system and addressing issues of overcrowding and high incarceration costs.
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>> what is interesting in washington in this age is once you have that title, even if it's a very short title, even voted out after one term you can stay in washington and be a former chief of staff on a former congressman. that itself is remarkable. you are in the club. that is a striking departure from the dates in which people would, and surf and serve a little bit and go back to the farm which is how the founders had intended. there is a new dynamic. it starts with money and the money available in the resources and people can do very well. bovich to 8:00 on q and a. >> a discussion about intelligence gathering and
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counterterrorism efforts with leiterdirector michael and matthew olson who serves in the position. they were part of the aspen security forum in colorado. this is one hour. we are probably at that point in the day where everything has been said that not everybody has said it. hopefully will try and move over for two topics we have not and mix it up a bit. very excited to moderate this to the best in the business here. matt olson is the current -- he has thee full gamut. andas been counsel to nsa acting assistant director for national security and special counsel to the fbi director. his predecessor's michael
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leiter. he was the second director of the counterterrorism center until 2011. he is now senior counsel to the ceo of data analytics company. he is also a national security analyst for nbc news. with a very begin is, whatstion and that is the current state of the threat from terrorism? were does the emulate from and how serious is it? what do we start with it is great to be here. it is daunting to talk about it every would've talked about a lot of subjects today. i will give it a shot. topuld say right off of the
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the threat is very different now for what it was 10 years ago and even 4 years ago. thinking at a couple of different levels. as have been noted, the threat from al qaeda and afghanistan is really significantly degrading. we do not face the same rate as the same attack as 9/11. the group is really struggling to survive to recruit and train and operate. -- it remains at the vanguard of the movement. is still looks to for leadership and guidance from the affiliate groups and to mention the one that concerns us most. that group in yemen has the capability and intent to carry out attacks against us. they have tried three times to take out airlines over the last few years. beyond that, beyond the
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affiliated groups, we talked about this, the whole expense of unrest and turmoil in north africa and parts of the middle east have led to the rise of the loose network and temporary groups like benghazi to carry out -- the group that carried against ourck facility in benghazi last year. those types of groups deftly pose a threat was in the region. they are less a threat here at home. the final group to mention it is very quick answer is the threat from homegrown extremists. the attack on boston is the more clear example. the challenge for us as individuals like the tsarnaevs is and they do not hit our radar. they do not travel and communicate in the same way
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learn what they need to learn the internet and become radicalized of the internet. from that perspective, it poses a real challenge. as would brief the threat, overall, i would say it remains persistent. it is increasingly complex and diverse bit -- and diverse. tofirst of all, always good be here. thank you for another great event. i want to commend matt for the great job he has done. i think people should understand modern government. it is a really big deal for a current and former to sit next to each other. a lot about matt's confidence as sit next to a guy who can say anything the hell he wants. glad to keep them close. [laughter] i agree with his assessment of the threat. i would add a couple of small
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items. would'vectually done, talked about the threats and other places that are terrible in the world. we have to remember how successful the counterterrorism activities have been over the last 12 years. if i asked a group like this on september 12 am a 2001, and the americans will be killed in the united states i al qaeda my guess is that answer would be about 1000, 10,000. i am almost certain nobody was a 18 house and which was the -- 18,000 which is the total number of people killed by al qaeda in the u.s. in the past 12 years. we have done remarkably well. the threat is accurate. we also have to look at this and understand that we are never going to see any of these prevent atirely but
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catastrophe. will be susceptible to the smaller scale attacks we see like in boston. we are always focus mostly on outlook item. -- al qaeda. people started to be, slightly more aware of the threat of extremism mostly from has below -- hezbollah. will undoubtedly face a shiite and invigorated spider terrorist threat. we have seen one of this ambassador in washington and other attacks overseas. this is something that counterterrorism immunity especially with declining resources, we have to keep our eye on. >> in addition to what mike
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said, it will encapsulates the complexity of the challenge but to focus on syria. syria, we have the opposition to the assad regime. in the opposition, a growing extremist group that is seeking to become official affiliate of is probably the most capable fighting force within the opposition erie it -- opposition. we have a shiite extremist group, hezbollah. , we have thethat existence of chemical weapons. that, the biggest concern is the flow of foreign fighters to syria. it has become the dominant battlefield in the world. we see foreign fighters one from western europe and in some cases
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to the united states to syria to fight as part of the opposition. is concern going forward these individuals traveling to syria, become radicalized, trained, and returning as part of a global jihadist movement to western europe and potentially the united states. it really elucidates the ways the threat is complicated and again persistent. >> to ask you about president obama's may speech on terrorism. we are at a crossroads. ourselves hardsk questions and how we should refer to them. what the best speech change and what does it mean for your mission and had to change it if at all? >> it was an important speech. i am lucky to be there. -- no, sir.analysts
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not at all. we're at a crossroads. ways, thisnt in some the counterterrorism community so many in this room, it really challenged us to do two things. to think hard about the threat and to be very precise and rigorous and how we defined the threat and not fall into traps like we fell into are sought after benghazi of a binary choice. it is either al qaeda or not. that is not the reality. it is much more complicated. it needs to be careful in how we define who is al qaeda and what is the threat because of course how we defined the threat is the crux of the developing a strategy. that's the second part of how the president challenged us. how to think of the threat as we
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look to keep up the pressure but also look to a time when we are not in a state of war. that also was a way in which he challenged everybody in this room who is part of the >> how important was that speech as policy? >> i think it is a critical speech. withally, i align myself almost everything the president said. 12 years later, it was probably the most copperheads of statement certainly by this president and arguably even going back to the time immediately after 9/11 how the u.s. government and i lies should approach terrorism -- and allies should approach terrorism. i do not mean this as a political critique but as a political counterterrorism professional critique. there were some things that were not in the speech and part because his a president and you will not get into detail.
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the question for the national security community which is key is to name a few is there really was discussion on homegrown terrorism. this is probably the threat most relevant to most american lives. it may not be the greatest threat but the most frequent threat and we have a long way to go. with really sharp and our spirit -- our spear overseas. i was disappointed of not having any mention of mass distraction. we have done a really good job of access to biological, ready logical, or nuclear devices. -- radiological, or nuclear devices. it could be significant. we have to keep our eye on that. what is incredibly important is now it will change the way in which we look at this threat,
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what does that actually mean for programs and budgets and government organizations? carter did a brilliant job this morning of talking about those concrete choices. we now have had the stooges playing field described by the president -- strategic playing field described by the president. with budget cuts, how are you going to allocate the finite resources in a sensible way across the counterterrorism community? the policy role have an enormous role in that process and it is not one that the u.s. government has proved particularly effective at dealing with. >> i do not disagree with anything mike has said. it was an hour-long speech. it covered a lot of ground. >> an hour and 15 minutes. >> people were thinking about these questions erie it on the one question, wmd, i would
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reiterate. likelihood of dubya the right now is low -- wmd right now is low. we keep our eye on the be empty threats. threats. we have been told about -- >> would've been told about two developments. leaking of classified data, the wiki leaks and now edwards noted. -- edward snowden. sit, whatom where you does he follow up from both of those development in terms of intelligence sharing and cooperation? and -- let mecell take the second part. al qaeda had nothing to do with
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that. they are inclined to take advantage of what is happening every it is important to say it is not one dynamic in every country. if you look at tanisha, libya -- tunisia, libya, they are all different. the primary way for us that is affecting our counterterrorism efforts as placing a greater degree of building relationships with emerging regimes. libya, we are seeing a decrease in its capabilities to carry out counterterrorism efforts. we need to figure out how we are going to work with emerging government. the capabilities of wanting. , we have a good relationship and improving relationship with president
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heidi. in each case, we need to stay engaged and work with the legitimately selected government and those countries, but that is hard. benghazi showed why that is hard. these are dangerous places and having our diplomats and our military and our intelligence officials in these locations. leak, is there any demonstrated reduction of intelligence sharing because people said the united states cannot be trusted with secrets anymore, everything looks out? >> it remains to be seen on snowden. especially with respect to europe and our european allies, how they may be be acting. in the city seen. -- it needs to be seen. >> first of all, i would be
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shocked if there are not indications of intelligence that al qaeda and affiliated groups have not changed the way they operate based on these leaks. we have seen in every other said -- leak situation, it makes matt's job harder. i was the president right after wiki leaks. every place i went overseas for the hour-long meeting, we easily had half-an-hour of that with me have with my head a bit off and being yelled off by our colleagues seeing how can you be so sloppy, how come you cannot control information, we will not share information with you. >> were they idle threats? >> no, they were real. it is not that if the french get , they utep -- the tip will not tell us. they will be much more closer
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with the information that release. it undermines the relationships. least, the quietly underserved relationship, partnership between the u.s. government is very patrick american companies -- very isriotic american companies important going back to world war ii. and a multinational ceo i've been cooperating with the u.s. government and the courts tell me to do it this way and is what i was supposed to do, my market is being killed because everybody is holding up the fact that you do not want to work because the nsa gets everything. in accordance with the law, much more difficult to read all three of those have serious implications. this. first point on we have seen response to the
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al qaeda affiliated groups seeking to change their tactics. looking to see what they can learn and change how they communicate to avoid detection. >> i think there's a lot of does andbout what ntsd its role in the larger counterterrorism community. let's talk about some of the central roles that it has. one of the changes that happened on your watch, mike, was the calling of names for targeting killing moved from the national security council in the pentagon to being centralized. there's been a lot of controversy about that. you could talk about, what is the role in
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developing and calling the targeted killing? accurate.n >> not entirely. i will narrow it a bit. fundamentally, the criticism we heard from congress and elsewhere, eric and others wrote about this. cia you had in theory, the had a "kill list," and there was another list and it did not match up. trued that is not entirely either. you have the possibility that you people responsible for operations making intelligence calls about how bad someone is or not. that can lead to, it can lead to perception about how we draw these analytic judgments about
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who is an imminent threat because they are plotting. what our role became an appropriate one is we are made up of analyst from cia, fbi it is not attached to anyone operation. that we could work with entire community and say, yes, mr. smith is in fact plotting. he is in imminent threat. -- sponsors legal authority as long service legal authority -- authority, this is where we'll prioritize him to be detained or targeted or the like. that is important role. in the policy role, we work hard to develop options. there a lot of people who say the u.s. government needs to be capturing the people and are killing them instead.
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in my experience, the idea that nobody wanted to catch anybody that we could is crazy. if you need to capture somebody, you captured them. we worked with the enter agency, the fbi, dhs to develop the options of what you could do with someone if there were captured and if they were arrested and things like that. that was a valuable role to make sure there was an interagency decisions led to the at the white house. >> we are pushing 10 years in existence next year. --are voting on the work building of the work that mike did them before him. we have worked to become a center of gravity of the analytics side in the planning side. taking analysis for a example, the white house now looks to us
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to take a look at what is the threat going to look like after 2014. they also looked was to describe who is this guy and what is his role in the intelligence on him? to of the benefits we bring doing that is everything we do in that regard is carbonated -- it's a coordinated effort. fusingnformation -- information. it is also people. and officers from around the community working together to produce a product whether about the threat strategically or tactically that represents the view of the entire intelligence community. when that is presented to policymakers, it reflects that entire coordinated view.
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that is really valuable. >> another issue that has come that you do not have access to and want. laster, you changed -- last year, we changed the federal guidelines. in new guidelines allow you to basically get access to any government database. happened, you -- one group rejected. take me through that debate. what was the thinking about changing the rules? and what government database you cannotve a rules? under the 2008 why should i not be terrified about it?
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>> started under mike. a couple things right of the top. we do not collect any information ourselves. we get information from other agencies that they collect whether nsa am a fbi. we are not collecting it. it is the lawfully connect the -- collected. after 2009 that we do not have access to some of the types of information that would help us like the underwear bomber. we had great access to threat information coming from the reports provided to us by cia, the nsa. what we do not have is the kind of access we needed to non-terrorism databases.
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about individuals applying for refugee status in the united states or for visas. because what we need to do is have information and not just for a minute or a day or a week but long enough so we have the rate information from the cia, from a source, all we have is a name or a first name, what we do to compare the information to the other information we have also collected at the government has about people traveling care or seeking asylum so that we can then provided to the agencies tt can act on it. that the perspective american people thought we were already doing this. we worked very hard over the last few years to work with the privacy community as well as dhs and fbi and other agencies. >> what was the objection from dhs on the initial request for that database that worried the
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privacy officer? >> i think it was this, i concern. i understand the concern about aggregating data. andorked closely with dhs privacy groups to design rules that would protect the data. all the usual things you would want and expect, audit training, oversight to make sure that we were doing that sets carefully as possible. we worked with the department of justice to have new guidelines approved by the attorney general . a beautifully carefully leaked statement by one individual. there were many other parts of dhs that absolutely wanted this to be done. matt is right.
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of course there are civil liberties issues. we are both lawyers. we do get these issues. woodave to understand the saw that people can find themselves in. a few months before christmas for theas up arguing extension of the patriot act, certain aspects of the patriot act. i had congressman after congressman say, why do you need to spy on americans is to mark what is going on? i had people yelling at me saying, why is my constituent watch listed? was whynths later, it aren't there more people on the watchlist? fast forward to boston, why aren't you spying on more americans? why can't you collect more data? these issues are real issues. stop flying the pendulum back and forth and get
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somewhere in the middle. the perfect example on this for dhs is, someone comes into the united states on january 1 and all you have is his name and phone number. under the old guidelines, 91 days later that information had to be flushed from nctc systems. got a tip, if you from the cia that this number was associated with al qaeda, nctc wouldn't know. imagine that hearing when the attack occurs. the issue here was, how long should nctc be able to keep this questio? the auditing, review, trust and verify. calibratedtem wasn't post-9/11. it wasn't calibrated post 2005.
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they were guidelines from 2000 and the world had changed. >> on the transparency point, we adopted these new guidelines and put them on our website. i still have a crick in my neck because asked -- last week, we have is great for him with representatives from a number of different groups on a wednesday, very concerned about our aggregation of data as well as nsa leaks. less than 24 hours later, i was in a congressional hearing where the focus was on the boston and our failure to do more given the information we have received. it was a complete 180. maybe that is right. actually i am concerned when that happens for the
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intelligence community and intelligent professionals who need predictability. they need to be able to know where the line is in order to do our jobs. ist swinging of the pendulum problematic. >> it seems like this is an issue you will deal with a lot more going forward. ,he first decade of the nctc you built up capabilities with overseas intelligence agencies, strong partnerships, but increasingly looking for data sets that the u.s. government has and also state local officials. it seems like that penetration into the domestic sphere gets people more concerned. abouto me about that and the relationships you would like to build with state local officials. >> this has come up a couple times today. some of the challenges we face
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in the domestic sphere. i do think that for the last several years we made real gains in how we interact and how the community as a whole interact looking overseas, making sure information is shared property -- properly. it is much more difficult and challenging when you start looking at the picture inside the united states. we have a much more complicated structure of fbi and dhs at the federal level, and the thousands of state and local police departments. in utero and fire departments. the challenge for us -- and then you throw in fire departments. how dollenge for us is we make sure our local police departments and firefighters who may be first responders, when they see something is suspicious, how do we make sure that information gets put into
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the national intelligence picture so that we can marry up what is seen at the local level -- >> not terrorism. sure that ismake getting married up with national threats? for us at nctc that is going to be a challenge going forward working with the fbi and dhs. -- to be specific, what is the kind of intelligence you wish you had when you were the director that come a going forward you would like to have? everything? >> no, i actually don't want everything. you have to go through everything. it is not very important stuff. what everyone working in this field knows is you don't know
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what is important until after you have gotten it and compared it to other stuff and circumstances begin to evolve. how do you get a reasonable amount protected certain ways and compare it to try to figure out -- the whole connect the dots thing is so 2001. it is utterly simplistic. dots you arew what looking at. you don't know what that is meaningful until you compare it to other dots. i do think we have come a long way. the fbi has evolved tremendously. forces investigate things very well. what we did simultaneously was invest lots of money in useful state and local fusion centers that get information from state and local police. they try to correlate it. the problem is that these two pieces are semi-independent, not completely independent but semi-
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independent. that wesaw in boston is have to merge these two together more effectively. once you have that, you can have the fbi working with dhs instead of saying, i can't cover ts arnaev. we have closed the case, but go ahead. what nctc can bring to that is, taking that information about things that look significant and comparing that in a civil liberties protected way with lots of data that fbi and dhs don't have. you would have liked to know if naev had happened, if tsar had called somebody in yemen. once the fbi gets that lead, nctc can play a valuable role in looking at data to see if that is the case. i can't say all that without
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saying one last thing. it is a problem because it requires greater domestic work. we haven't since 2001 have a great conversation in terms of domestic surveillance. things,we do all these we can't expect to stop all of these. these are very hard lots to stop. we are going to stop them in a variety of ways. we will stop them by not letting it will get the right fertilizer so the bomb doesn't go off. we will stop them, keep them from using good explosive devices like on christmas day. sometimes, we are going to stop bleeding i having an effective response, but some things are going to get through. matt upcan't do is put against the wall and throw darts at him. we have to make sure that matt
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has done his best, is going to learn from the experience. we can't simply crucify matt and counterterrorism professionals it is then -- because then everybody -- visited with the joint terrorism task force. then, i visited the fusion center. i asked a lot of these questions about how they would work together. we look at boston, how would that have happened? obviously, we can always do better. back to au can go case that arose here in colorado , i plot to carry out an attack on the subway in new york. the fbi started here in the investigation in aurora,
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colorado. it is probably not a good idea to bring up the nsa programs because you haven't asked about it, but we can talk about this as an example of that. in terms of local police departments working with fusion centers, with fbi, it is a good example in colorado of a very effective investigation that ended up moving across the country to new york. >> we will get to the nsa in a second. let's talk about oversight, oversight of counterterrorism and intelligence agencies. mike, you recently summarized oversight of counterterrorism this way. it operates in secret. counter congressional materials -- committees operate most divine closed doors. it is largely invisible to the public. as a journalist, when you put it that pointedly, none of this inspires much confidence. at the same time, these
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institutions couldn't operate totally transparently. the intelligence community, the , theytoday in the paper seem to be losing confidence of some folks in congress. why should the public trust such a secretive oversight regime and how can we improve it? >> two things. this, i hope events like when we see people like matthew nsa, that de from inspires a little bit of confidence because they are not a bunch of ogres. these are thoughtful people who are tackling very hard jobs. ashton carter, the list goes on and on. second, i would like to think about it as oversight serving two purposes. theis to make sure government is doing things right. two is to give the public confidence that the government is doing things right. in my
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experience, oversight on the first case looks really well. if you do something wrong, there specter,ressman, and protection officer -- inspector, protection officer, it is possible that all of them could get snowed in, sorry. you can snow them all and none will know anything is going wrong. in my experience, that is far from the case. your question, is oversight as far as giving the public faith, that is where we have a failing. it is not an independent problem of government. look at polls and how many people trust commerce. not especially high. there is a lack of faith. i think you can increase transparency but not to get too far. if you go to full transparency,
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you will have zero security. -- fisa, -- >> they should have held hearings. it should've have been a more robust oversight board. now they will, that is good. the inspectors general can give more generic reports. congressional oversight committees, intelligence committees can talk about the subjects they are looking at without disclosing sources. john maclachlan noted we do oversight hearings. even on the fisa court i would agree -- disagree with some of the panelists. they can release some things. they can release how many cases they get, how many are denied, how many are sent back for review.
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you can have periodic review by other bipartisan commissions that have credibility. you can do it incrementally but it is going to be difficult to swim against the general tide of distrust of government. i would also be remiss if i didn't say i could not disagree with anthony romero more that snowden did as a service. i think he did this country and incredible disservice. we are now going to have slightly more transparency and better oversight and that is a good thing. i refused to give mr. snowden credit for that. >> give snowden any credit? >> no. think oversight these, i the procedures we have talked about today are a real example -- it is hard to imagine and oversight regime that could exceed what has been done with fisa and 702, where there was a
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public debate when the law was changed. they reviewed the nsa's procedures. congress was directly involved in making those changes to fisa. a lot of folks in the room don't realize that in 2008, a fisa court review upheld the way nsa does this program. they looked at this exact mechanism of targeting non-us persons overseas and held it against the constitutional and statutory challenge. that hasn't been reported very much. that is a declassified opinion of the fisa court review. then, you have ongoing oversight of the program carries out. it is hard for me to imagine and oversight regime that would exceed that. >> i don't think you were using
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your imagination. you have to look at the fisa court. >> there is no adversarial process when a prosecutor goes and seeks to get a search warrant. you go to the judge and present the facts. it is not adversarial. i am not aware of any country that has anything like a fisa court. you could make it adversarial. you would slow down. unless you did it very carefully, you would risk disclosure. the problem is that there is just a lack of confidence and that is a problem we have maintaining these tools in government. you wrote in one of your pieces that congress was somewhere below headlights and above people -- >> yes. >> that is hard for us. we depend on a relationship
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between communities to provide legitimacy for our programs. >> the question also is. where is the abuse? i completely understand that some people think the collection itself is the abuse. the fact is, the collection in that program has gone through our democratic process of government and the systems we set up. then, the question is if the collection is not the abuse, where has the collection of information been abused? where are the results where people have been arrested, persecuted? so far, i have not seen that. its not that we don't have to have oversight, but we can't just rush to the darkest corner of the room and assume there is abuse going on when we seem to have a total absence of such circumstances. >> you have some senators
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arguing that authority hasn't been exceeded. >> my argument would be, they have repeatedly extended the disa act -- fisa act. i don't really like the image of senators not doing anything. there are plenty of senators, congressmen who knew about this program. if they wanted to stop it, there is authorization act's. there are lots of ways to stop programs. the fact is, the majority didn't win those cases. >> let's open this conversation up to questions. we have about 15 minutes left. i am chair of the homeland security committee.
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it to one to limit question. i believe i heard you say that with the limited information that the fbi had, what was passed to them from the russians, that some mechanism should have been designed that they should've passed on to police,else, boston could you expand on that? i understand the complexities there, who is going to do what? i have an aide in my office who says, everyone's job is no one's job. it seems like that possibility could exist there. >> i don't know declassified information so i can speak about this. think you can design the system. jttf gets a tip, it could be
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from russians or ada mastic tape saying will smith is a bad guy. fbi investigates will smith, and abuse him, -- interviews him, turns out he is not a bad guy. closes the case. that is what happened with tsar naev as i understand it from public reports. you could have a system where the fbi earns to the same local fusion center and says, we have this case on smith, we didn't find anything. you have different authorities at a local police office. you can knock on doors, check with friends. if you want to do that, fine. we will continue to do our search easing data from other sources. this is now yours if you want to do something. in reality, most officials aren't going to do anything with that because they have other priorities. that is one way of creating a safety net below the federal investigative limits. let me just say, this is not
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without real civil liberties implications. i use this example with congress. this sounds great if you are dealing with someone named tsar naev. now, let's make it bob smith in texas who is reported to be an antigovernment i -- guy. fbi interviews him, he says no way. fbi closes the investigation, handed off to police and says, you might want to keep your eye on smith out there because he has a lot of guns. do you think a few people in congress might have a problem with that? we have to realize that we could increase the safety net we have but it has implications for what state local authorities to and how that potentially infringes on civil liberties independent of official investigations.
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>> i completely agree. the problem is, the observation has been made that we haven't been to the crime site. our collection capabilities, the way we collect information has increased the amount of information we have. almost inevitably, when something happens like austin -- boston, we can look back and find points of opportunity to engage or do more. the lesson, the difficult lesson fbi bases what it can do on the amount of information it has. a predicate what they do on how much information. that is a tried and true way of conducting an investigation. how intrusive you go depends on how much information you have to show that the president is violating the law. that is what we want the fbi to do. the other aspect -- the opportunity within the jttf
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structure, the opportunity to share with representatives if it warrants, to share with their department. >> right there. adam, the fire chief in alexandria, virginia. i appreciate the conversation about state local intelligence sharing. it struck me earlier as we were having a conversation about connecting the dots that that first thing but not the only thing. there is this matter of communicating the picture to the people who need to know. that includes my people if you think of all the iconic images of these events. firefighters are front and center. what do you think we still need to do to connect the dots and communicate that information
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effectively to the people that are zero dakr thirty? >> i will answer this way. program that we do with fbi and dhs. it was an organization within nctc where we had a small number of state local representatives from fire departments and police departments, and serve on detail for a year or two b. they can take that and turn it into, what would be useful for my department? then, we write reports. respond --ppen to some very helpful ways for state and local firefighters and police officers to engage at the federal level and advocate on behalf of their own departments
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in the community. this is a program we have continued in coordination with fbi and dhs where we have people at nctc who represent our departments and police departments. >> a huge part of this is getting beyond law enforcement. for the detection, response and prevention. the fbi was doing engagement naev the mosque that tsar belonged to. that is great. you need lots of people other than the one carrying badges and guns to do that engagement. the communitygage as a real partner and not an adversary. back to your point, something nctc started right after the mumbai attack. partnered with dhs, fbi and fema to do training exercises
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across the country about how a city should respond to multi- casualty attacks. boston, nctcbefore with fbi, dhs and fema ran exactly that scenario with 150 plus representatives from across , going through those scenarios. they discovered things like, we are going to have to have a process for processing the video from camera stores -- from cameras in stores. we have to think about communications via cell phone. you're not going to stop everything but what you can do is help communities prepare for these situations and really reduce casualties that you might otherwise see an accelerated investigation. >> anyone else?
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>> while you're getting the microphone, and for the response, it is important to think about we have about 13,000 fbi agents around the country. we have 2,000,001st responders. million first responders. that is how we are going to stop the next boston type attack. >> from george washington university, i will direct the question to matt. eight days after benghazi, you said benghazi was an act of terror. we have had a significant political and bureaucratic debate about talking points and what happened prior to that point, but what goes into the formal determination that
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something is an act of terror? depending on the political agenda, it could be active thuggery or an act of war or an act of terror. for those who have been inside the >> important point after benghazi is -- i was in a hearing that was prescheduled. if the intelligence community, i think i can speak for all of the analysts that were working on this. wasroceed of presumption it a terrorist attack. you had a mortar attack that killed americans and a government facility in benghazi. they were clearly targeting our presence there. it was violence and result in death. there are number of legal definitions, the practical common sense of you that we all proceeded on from the outset was this was a terrorist attack.
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what it does not answer is a bunch of other questions that were more complicated and how coordinated was it? when had it been planned? who was behind it? we are with those and to this day. it was unclear then as it was now. it was not particularly cordon made. it had not been planned for very long. -- particularly ordinate it -- coordinated. it does not take away from the bottom line that it was a terrorist attack. those are important questions that the debate of secured -- to refocusr efforts on who was responsible for what we do about it. isthe great thing about nctc frankly the great success stories of government reform. biased, it can
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still do a lot of things better, but it is pretty darn good read regardless of how politically heated these discussions get, whether benghazi or fort hood, or workplace violence, i think john brennan and scott and me and matthew have really tried to keep it completely apolitical. that the semi-you do not have bureaucratic fights. we called fort hood and at the terrorist a day after. with, as we see it. we are part of the intelligence community. -- we call it as we see it. i cannot tell you the politics of almost anyone at nctc. it was not an issue. people came to stop terrorist from killing americans. pretty state -- straightforward. >> we are running out of time.
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one more question. the advantage of being in front. up on oneo follow- would think that matt said. you said you had seen al qaeda and affiliated groups changing their way. did you meet specific because of the snowden -- did you mean specifically because of the snowden leaks. -- can youexamples give us examples? >> what we are seeing is individual terrorist who are looking at this and seeking ways to circumvent our surveillance based on what they are learning. from these recent weeks, yes. we have strategic problem is our problem this we cannot keep our national secrets secret. not to say everything that is
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classified should be secret, but the things that we should be protecting are not effectively protecting, it hurts our partners and it helps our inmates. -- our enemies. we have to fix that. we have to reinstitute the and oversight so people say it met has been working with the congress, the house, the fisa court, that is good enough. somebody is going to change the law, so bites with arrest met -- sorry. -- somebody is going to arrest sorry. i am worried what have a continued run of snowdens. >> there are limits of how transparent we can be read a little bit of a trojan horse by people who do not agree by what we are doing and knowing full
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well how it works. taking a more strategic view for a moment, the challenge for us, everybody who works at nctc is there to protect the country. we were reagan we talk to you in this room about finding the right balance, but ultimately thomas i want to know where the line is that in a predictable way, how far can we go? my job is to protect the country. to thaty folks to go line of legality and do everything that we can within the bounds of the law, but to go up to that line. forward, would be to be more transparent. i hope the oversight regime can gain the ability to allow us to do our job. >> we have to leave it there. thank you for a great discussion. [applause]
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] reportedshington post that the nsa data collection program violated her seizures in thousands of cases as far back as 2008. it was based on documents they obtain from a government audit. the nsa has maintained that any violations were unintentional and a continues to stand by its all a sea of reporting any mistakes that might occur. lawmakers including judiciary committee patrick leahy have called for more hearings on the agency surveillance programs in light of the new information. from or the subject, we told the reporter. wefor more on the subject, talked to a reporter. jennifere joined by martinez. why is patrick leahy called for another round of hearings on the nsa? >> he is doing that in the wake
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of the report that was published by "the washington post," late thursday that they have broken privacy rules are overstepped its authority. with --lady came out leahy came out with a statement that he remains concerned that congress is still not getting straightforward answers from the nsa and he hopes to hold another meeting when congress returns to get the answers areas >> how bad was report? >> it is definitely pretty damaging. adds, it was administration in an even worse position than it was with the surveillance program. it also calls into question the statement that the president made last week at the press
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conference at the white house and other statements the administration officials have thatand the report showed the nsa had procured private communications thousands of times without proper of the relation. the post analysis showed most of the incidents were unintended and it involved an authorized surveillance of americans or foreign targets. quick senator leahy is going to hold a meeting looking into the specific allegations. where is congress on this? how far they gotten into the issue and is there any legislation solution to the issue in the work? >> there had been a lot of hearings in the wake of the nsa surveillance programs that came to light after edward snowden released the documents to "the
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washington post" and "the guardian." committeejudiciary and we have seen a bunch of legislation also get introduced. you have senators wyden introduce a set of three bills the week before congress broke for recess that would reform how the fisa court which oversees some of the nsa surveillance programs operate and that late he himself introduced the bill that would never the phone data collection program which operates under section 215 of the patriot act and basically bill would do as when the intelligence community is seeking phone records for an investigation, they have to prove they are only going after
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a terrorist group or a foreign target. the closest we have, to see congress vote on something is proposal that the house voted on that would rein in the phone data collection. it was similar to leahy's bill. failed, but it shows congress is concerned about the surveillance program and whether they are violating privacy every >> jennifer martinez on the land hearing -- planned hearing. you can follow her on twitter. you can also read your report online at the hill. affairsn, we bring directly to you putting few in
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the room at congressional hearings, white house events, re-think, and conferences. all as a public service of private industry. we are c-span. we are funded by your local cable or satellite provider. you can watch us in hd. >> a look at the ways that technology and innovation is affecting latin american countries and cream growth opportunities. it is part of the international festival called the biennial of the americans. a place investment in like russia today. the system of private property and the law really has not been worked out yet. you can engage that in territories like this on a do not those that require a lot of time.l for a period of
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a great example for us and latin america has been our successful investment in chile where we have done communications company investing in infrastructure for probably 15 years. very successfully. and we have really enjoyed the relationships. mexico has been a wonderful place for our directv business. it is increasingly a country in which people are comfortably making large capital investments in infrastructure. it is away from the border of mexico that it is actually doing very well. and the problem is major concentration -- >> it is great to be partners with some of these people. [laughter]
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i think that will change over time. that is part of the rising middle class and the menorah -- modernization of society. the thing that turned the corner in chile for that country versus places like argentina where the people who were successful in chile began to reinvest in their own country. there's been a tendency especially in latin america that when you are successful, you want to get the capital out of the country as fast as possible. one, the number of latin american countries that is changing -- >> also violence and homicide rates, violence against women is really rent that. rampant. that --
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judicial system across the region are in dire need of reform. in how a real divide different countries across latin america are dealing with -- some deciding the best way is further countries to open up and become global trading partners. others are could go protectionist barriers and trying to safeguard particular interest in keeping parts close to the world. the difference between this countries makes for a very interesting and unique discussion that we can have tonight. i want to introduce our terrific panel. off, a legendary pioneer, john malone. the world's largest cable company. heh the truly say about john
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was cable before cable was cool. 1963arted his career in where he was always ahead of his time. he said he was actually working on video telephone. today his empire includes liberty media and interactive and he served on the board of directors of charter communications, expedia, as sirius xm radio. here's the largest private landholder in the u.s. next is eric schmidt, executive chairman of google. when he joined in 2001, growing google from a little start up to a renowned, global leader in technology was at the very top of his to-do list. he served as ceo overseeing business strategy along with larry page from 2001-2011.
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here's a vigorous diplomat for the technology world. he is a member of present obama's technological counsel. 2008, 8 million latin americans were active online. today that number is 129 million regular users. i want to see what he has to say about the change our world. finally, ambassador arturo sarukhan, the former mexican ambassador to the united states. the longest serving mexican ambassador where he's a enormous change in making america a power. seen this whole trajectory take place. here's a fellow at breaking the institute. -- brookings institute.
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today justin bieber. tweetpress ambassador to -- he was the first ambassador to tweet. 100,000as over followers. i hope you will tweet updates dorm -- up a storm. welcome our panelists. let's get started. [applause] >> let's start with you eric schmidt. google has been a game changer, you turned that one -- you turned all of our lives. what in your view are the ways about innovation and reinvention
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among what are the properties that create newness? >> thank you antiwhite tina for putting this on and for the governor for participating in this important. of ae right on the cusp real change in human intelligence and human understanding. all of this work that all of you and all abuzz and these guys have done to build a society that is knowledge based means we can begin to build systems that make you so much smarter. devices we wander around with your permission, it will help you in extraordinary ways and make suggestions of new ideas thomas about things -- new ideas, about pings to do, about fun things, and suggestions about businesses. the advent of the mobile device,
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the platform means the transition to the knowledge economy is essential. that then starts really changes. the new ideas interest protection, new ways of getting around, self driving cars. enormous changes in medicine. a very good diagnostic. pop a pill. wi-fi to your phone, call the doctor, tell the doctor what is going on and the doctor will call you back. all of the systems are just ready now for prime time. we'll use them because that will make our lives easier and faster. the american innovation engine and universities capital funding models is the best in the world. it will continue to produce innovations at this rate even faster. >> maybe even too fast for humans to keep up with. sometimes i worry at some away
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you can talk about can be dehumanizing and segregating of people because of this wildly fast technology wishes people apart as much as bring them together. >> i disagree. i would bring to your friendly teenager. if you have a teenager, if they are awake, they are online. if they wake up in the middle of the night, they are online and go back to sleep. they are more communicative that we could have ever imagined. that hive of knowledge, friendship, thinking will propel the next generation far faster. engineering are in by trade. you might be fascinated to see the extraordinary celebration of some of these technologies that eric is talking about. how to being an engineer shape you as an innovator and word you see our world moving was such a
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highly -- and where do you see our world moving? >> it seems that these technologies are curative and their effect -- curative in their effect -- cumulative in their effect. once we got to where the scale could be propagated in massive , the celebration of pace of innovation took off. it seemed to be everything they taught me in engineering school was completely obsolete 10 years after school. what you actually learn in terms of the technology of the day are pretty obsolete pretty quickly. what they teach at a school is to learn how to learn if it is a good school and how to adapt. that we aregies talking about today are really
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the evolution of the whole is a parallel adventures -- inventions that are combined into the type of devices that eric was pointing to. it just seems like it has opened so many doors for innovation and innovation and community. subcommunities, from invention point of view, the combination they have out in silicon valley is pretty unique in the world in terms of human capital, financial capital, and entrepreneurship. .t has created this >> the opportunities being presented by the explosion of the technology in the americas from the new economic shift and geographic shift.
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what is your view as a great investor? what opportunities do you see that we could be exposing? participate the demand for these implementations -- inventions. geographically around the world, the power of these electronic technologies, digital technologies is they are global in scope. there really is a standard that can be invented and wants the services are offered, they are available to pretty much i guess half of the planet, perhaps in terms of households. the other half needs to develop an economic base to participate which is a big challenge, by the way. the scale has never been seen before. this is the reason why some of
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these companies seem to emerge from nowhere and become a huge overnight because they are playing such a large sandbox. >> it creates incredible changes. ambassador arturo sarukhan you would ambassador at a time where you saw this big geographic shift and economic searching -- surging of the americas. tell about your point of view and what you learn. sayingme simply start by i'm delighted to be back in .enver i said i would be delighted. i am very happy to be back. look to theou american south of the rio grande, technology has become a
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.evel or -- leveler it does help to understand communities and public policy. technology has provided. --saw it in brazil where first of all, an expanding isdle class via technology finding new high in uruguay's of impacting the way decision- making -- new ways of impacting the way decision-making is used very -- it used. there's important trend i am seeing. where middle-class maybe under in countries like mexico, colombia,ile, peru,
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the middle classes are expanding combined with economic growth shifting demographics. as a fundamental shift, tectonic shift which will change the traditional way in which north and south hemisphere have been doing everything from how do we educate our kids, what do policy look like, how do you sure the political hearties remain responsive? a, do not made her across the americas. the tea party and occupy the wall street are two extremes. you are seeing it in brazil and you have seen in chile with student demand. you saw it in mexico. politicalern processes take into account new demands? it is a common thread that resolve this together.
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>> what is interesting is it is ironic as the middle class , you glimpse into a better future that you become discontented and decide to come out and protest as was seen recently in brazil. much of these big technological changes are leading to skewed prosperity. you are single such a concentration of wealth small pockets of the country across america as well. how do we deal with this skewed prosperity issue that is becoming a menace? >> most people in the auditorium know very well that the latin american is among the poorest region. latin america have some the highest disparities a income.
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the challenge with public policy of how we reinvent public policy is how to ensure that people not be left behind? how to make sure from the most humble shoe shiner in the main plaza of any town or city in latin america that liberal democracy is delivering the goods? there is a chance to continue to create asperity. -- prosperity. this a challenge. it will remain there. things will increase dramatically. in some latin american countries, it'll still be an outstanding problem. >> in mexico what is surprising in talking to you, as seems like the last three administrations have been lacking on policy with programs like the additional conditionalr --
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cash was for to keep their children in school which begins a cycle of getting out of poverty. >> not only keeping the kids in school by ensuring this the conditional program in which money is given to the female head of household, conditional -- >> that is really critical. [laughter] [applause] men will drink away. [laughter] >> she has to go to the kids to get their medical examination and vaccinations and they have to be in ruled -- enrolled. if those verbals are not met, the money is withheld. it is been in place for five consecutive mexican administrations regardless of the party. it has brought 40 million people out. these programs can work to a
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point where my bloomberg went to mexico three years ago -- michael bloomberg went to mexico three years ago to see if these issues could be brought to brooklyn and queens and staten programo generate that to create a premiership -- entrepreneurship. this brings us to very important facts, the role of cities. it is very fitting we are in denver that has been reinvented and has reinvented itself. cities have become the new hopes -- hubs. when you see gridlock in washington, it is the mayors that is reinventing. not only the united states but in mexico city. there's a very interesting connection between all these issues that are playing out
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where the cities become the new hubs of innovation and diversity. >> john, you are famously a very strong libertarian. what you think about that government intervention that arturo is tab about with cash transfers increasing a social policy that does keep pace? >> i am a libertarian but i am also pragmatic being an engineer. if it works, great, do it. the issue is so many government programs that do not work as become burdensome and never go away. cumulativee -- buildup that becomes a burden on society. ands all about education these technologies, if they can
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thesed to upgrade effectiveness and efficiency of education and the quality, and particularbility, in , it is not just education of facts but culture of civil understanding why society is functioning. why democracy is a pretty practical way for civilization to be conducted? it seems to me that is the core benefit to lifting the entire human race. as eric pointed out, if the united states, technology does have a tendency to create massive distribution of wealth disparities.
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we were speculating what the impact, how do deal with that in society? america has never been a nation families.ed dynamic our taxes and did not encourage it. i think that is a good inc. -- thing. philanthropy, reinvesting in a society when the massive wealth effects take place. they are driven by scale. canelying on philanthropy be work. -- has has a traditional a tremendous tradition. not. ifrom the uk, we do found a little excited and revealing when i came here with just immense generosity of this
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country that is unlike anything i've expense and my country. in latin america, not a tradition of philanthropy. reallydo not -- they are not that point where america is were they give away huge sums of their money. in asia, of course, not at all. b india, no tradition of the -- philanthropy. eric, a great deal of unemployment. we talk about programs to retrain people so they learn these new skills which required the digital economy. google is never going to higher a 52-year-old man that was retrain at community college. never. it would never happen. >> one never knows. [laughter] whitere is the beached males.
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[laughter] hand.ehind on the one >> i can see the headlines. [laughter] >> i am getting my revenge because there's no other woman on the panel. [laughter] [applause] you have kids they cannot get jobs which is causing occupy wall street. what we do about this? >> let's distinguish between the developed world and developing world. in the next five years, another 5 billion of the smartphones will get in the hands of the vast majority of global citizens. in developing countries that have never had access to information, personal or political freedom, these are extraordinary devices. for them a step from poverty to lower middle class is a very big deal.
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that will drive a lot of what you will see. in the more mature economies like europe which is decided for whatever reason to not grow for the next five years -- [laughter] >> a voluntary. >> of different states which is growing and growing and not as and for currency reasons. each of these is dealing with the compounding demographic of automation. with the demographic, you have older people and a few young people, fewer people will support more people that need more support mathematically. with globalization am a it is china that is raising prices. way -- that ishe the way to complain about it. we are shifting from resources based economies to knowledge
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economies. in a knowledge economy, you have to have enlightened view of what a successful. ,t is about education connectivity am a immigration -- connectivity among immigration, and the roles of women making possible for them to operate at the same level or even better. all of those had to be part of a coherent strategy. the countries they get that right will growth. it can occur anywhere. well lots of examples -- we have lots of examples. israel, a very high exporter. countries which have decided to focus on the knowledge economy and they can be done in any of these countries. >> arturo, what do you think
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about immigration that is happening in washington? immigration, how do look at from the latin american point of view? >> there is no important structural issues in the future while being prosperity and security of the united states and getting it right. [applause] into the u.s. gets it right, it will have radiating effects across the americas. is a very simple equation. you have a capitalist abundance country near labor abundant country. there are synergies with the changing demographics and by the way, it will not be there forever.
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the demographic and mexico and other places are changing. in 25 years, at the current rates of growth in countries like mexico or peru and chile , for example, construction and long island or vignettes -- a billiards or napa, it will not be there. how do you build a bridge between the largest, probably comingained labor force into the market in latin america and the caribbean and what will happen in 20 or 25 years with the demographics are of the americas is about the security and prosperity of our nation? andow this is very divisive has been a toxic issue in america, but immigrants are not as threatened to the security of the united states.
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[applause] >> i cannot find a reasonable opponent about this position. i cannot find one. let me make my case every america takes his people from around the world and educate them in the best university in america to him and kicks them out to go to start companies that compete with us. taking jobs away. are you with me? [laughter] am i missing something? [applause] are we in agreement? >> we are in agreement. valid.point is it is not only about the people that he needs and his sector, it is also about those in the central valley of california and construction companies in upstate new york and we called the unskilled labor. there's a lot of skill. >> we called the customers.
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[laughter] my have withic all this is that america is growing and with the growth comes revenue growth, gdp. the government has need for taxation of all the programs. work customers, more taxpayers. what my missing? >> there's tremendous fear that they were voicing in the house was a they are going to take american jobs. they are coming to take our jobs. >> and they are creating jobs. the economic data supports my position, the moral position. consistent with american historic and strength. these startups are done by foreign-born immigrants. google was founded -- foreign- born and came to the united states, peaceloving people
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[laughter] for the >> we are in wild agreement here. john, you're been living in this region. yes but your enormous fortune. you're the biggest land owner in the united states. what other particular properties you found in the region which has a very rich immigrant background in terms of the history? tell me what is the particular buildingfor having your business, your fortune in this region of america. how does it define what you have done? >> being headquartered here for it was a great
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central location for the communication in history nationally as a developed. it happens to be a great place for satellite transmissions because there are not as many clouds. [laughter] place tot was a great build a business and a great place to live, you know. of light to get back to the immigration issue. the issue is not so much mexican , hard-working people in taken jobs, but that american kids are trained and motivated to do the jobs. [applause] -- i want to get back to the immigration issue. labor should move as capital ship, freely to where it is most productive and most efficient. eric's.inly echo
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inson got a doctorate robotics at cornell. his lap and made was a russian kid who actually was cleared to projects inasa advance control. sort of stuff. when he got his doctorate, he had to leave the country because he cannot a green card to stay. i asked him, he's a very bright kid -- what is your best a job opportunity? notice they have problems with the gardens other missile system. [laughter] >> i love it. >> this behavior is suicidal. tory leading politician talk agrees with it. it has been so frustrating that for years, it has been an issue and not been resolved.
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hopefully, they will have the guts to get it over the finish line. >> it is almost as if it is a hopeless situation in terms of getting it done. it is putting renovation back to the city level. >> let's go back to what arturo said. the engine is in the cities of the world and the states. the federal government is caught up, they cannot make any progress. you're seeing private business solutions. there are quite a few groups working on immigration with hispanic communities in parts of america. it is partly good sense whether communications or so forth. from their perspective, it is one country, one language, one culture. about itwhen john said is driving this agenda well
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ahead of what the politicians can do. the combination of the revolution and the internet revolution and the mobile devices and delight and cities and states and entrepreneurs, with consultants probably even the government's lag. maybe it is ok. maybe we want our government to lag. do we really want them ahead of us? and not tell stupid rules like immigration and let us build across borders and use the best. >> it is interesting how the advent of twitter and social can reallyeople voice their disagreement with the way governments do business in the same way that social in latin america against corruption. that accountability. and for security as well.
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perhaps, gridlock can be undone a bit by more social media action in terms of people working in protest on issues. is there anything you think can be done? i am looking all over the world guessing these protests. wall street kind of fizzled out. immigration is a classic issue where you technology and social media that could drive a change in policy. do you see that happening more? >> when you live in the communications world that we live in is how powerful it is. think, see have locked themselves in very hard -- incumbents have locked themselves a very hard, drawing the borders so they are correct, etc. it is not a perfect system. transparency does fix these problems.
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if your present developing country where you have no particular reason to trust the police, your woman ashore for your safety and the these device empowering. eventually, enough people .obilizing interested, we should talk about what is happening in latin america such as the crime and violence issue. of we just saw the arrest whobrutal leader of a gang led a heinous and drug cartel and a trail of terrible mayhem. decapitations and kidnappings and so forth. violence is a huge issue in this area of latin america.
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int can be done about that this new booming economy? you have technology. you said it can be applied to addressing the violence issue. >> certainly. public security or human security, to talk about any more positive light. throughout latin america, number one and number two issues of concern to citizens throughout the region. i think again here despite the phenomenal challenges the countries face, i am pretty bullish as how technology can be and is used to mobilize public opinion. we work hand-in-hand with google thatexico to provide sms
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can be sent to police without leaving traces of who was sending get sick to do and a number us -- in an anonymous fashion. isn't crating a confidence building measure of using technology. ambassador look what happened in colombia five or six years ago when columbia's society mobilized via social anda to say no to violence no to the armed insurgencies. it was a powerful, organizing tool. create -- lookan at mexico and two case studies. why war restssons uarez is in a tighter spot
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is because civil society stayed put. the strategy to confront organized crime and they mobilize at work hand-in- and with the private sector they stayed and they stayed put in the created these networks of ownership or be -- ownership. up and went across the border. there was a huge vacuum where society gave up and one of the things that played a role in did not see it the other was the use of technology as an instrument of convalescing public opinion and mobilizing and ensuring that authorities were
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doing what they have promised to do. and the challenge is phenomenal, but there's a lot of promise. so the models will see develop around the region. >> the bad people get a hold of the technology. visited us asdor part of our research. the book came out a few months ago. we studied this. all kindwander around of wacky countries, i do not mean mexico. [laughter] the number one priority of most people is basically security. of the other conversation we have, they cannot get to the conversation. they're not too worried about it. we have worked too, with systems that provide anonymous reporting
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and thorough tracking. it is something like this. it turns out in the cities that are in trouble in mexico, the local citizens know who the bad guys are him and they are free to tell you because they are going to get killed, brutally. the stores are horrific. if you think rate anonymous reporting and responding, the response also afraid for their lives. you can build the matrix of the hotspots and do the kind of policing it is brought to the crime rate in american citizen down so low. from the standpoint of financial, almost everything is on was electronic. if you want to, you can root out most corruption. haveof the countries that a problem with political leaders have more land and houses and cars and horses in some cases than they are supposed to.
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[laughter] it turns other projects around the world to record this on google earth. it is hard to move the house. you can see this stuff. building a coal churches pepsi toa culture of transparency see where the money is going and all of this will materially materialize. we can get to that conversation with the to these other things. you -- is it corruption that might inhibit you from investing in the americans? , should you invest in these regions and what is your experience -- how much do you invest in these regions and what is your experience? >> it is number one when you look at investing particularly in infrastructure. those are very long life
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investments. the to be risley comfortable you are investing in it area that is politically stable and private property rights and does not overwhelmed by corruption. frankly, it is very hard to contemplate a fixed investment in a platelike russia today. -- place like russia today. it has not been worked out yet. and territories like this, you not a lot oft capital for an extended period of time. a great example for us and latin america has been our successful investment in chile where we have done communication, need investments in infrastructure for probably 15 years. very successfully.
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and we have really enjoyed the relationships. mexico has been a wonderful place for our directv business. increasingly a country in which people are comfortably making large capital investments in infrastructure. away from the border, mexico is actually doing very well. >> got the problems -- of the major problem of concentration that his ambition -- that is an inhibition as well? >> it is great to be partners with some of these people. [laughter] it will change over time. it is part of growing middle class. frankly, the thing that turned corner in chile for that country first is but but argentina is up
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people who were success -- is the people who were successful if they begin reinvest in their own country. there's been a tendency especially in latin america when you are successful, you want to get the capital out of the country as fast as possible. one by one, a number of latin american countries is changing and people with immense wealth who are successful in the countries are starting to reinvest in their own countries that is a great trend particular for latin america. partners find these and become accustomed to working with them? if a closed system -- how do americans break in as investment -- investors? >> the first clue is can you borrow money to invest. is there a pool of money available?
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shealy, because they privatize social security and has run it very rapidly, they have built a large pool of middle-class capital and returns for the middle class citizen who has been in that system has been very attractive. they have built a believe in investing in capitalism and that makes domestic capital available primary to local businesses, but also foreign investors who want to invest in infrastructure and are not willing to take the currency risk of having your investment in dollars but your income in pesos. that has been a real problem in terms of current state -- current stability. look at venezuela. the exchange rate is five times higher than what you can trade
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into dollars for. as latin america evolves and develops domestic capital and has political stability, it is important that they keep their promise wishes exchange ability of the currency and they keep it open interest parent -- transparent. and that is a great way to boost foreign investment which is important. there is some -- taking place in their. a tongue-in-cheek reference to what we are seeing in latin america and throughout the americas today is a coalition of , countries that are investing in developing ties to deepen activity to the rest of the world.
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you look at canada and the united states and mexico and chile and peru and colombia and costa rica and panama and these are countries that are bound together by pretrade agreements. some of us are members. so there is a new configuration that is taking place, binding these countries to believe in the rule based international trading system. if you look at what is going to , it is theing blocks tpp, and the deal negotiate with the european union. these are the game changers bringing countries together that based onn that system
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free and fair trade. that is changing the dynamics of businesses looking to invest and create economic growth. also the growing middle class, the greater jobs exports. this is a tidal wave growing in the atmosphere, which is very important. -- focus on eyes the bricks. i'm a citizen of mexico. -- ipeople say the bricks sort of smile and say, i think mexico is more than a brick in the wall. i think we have done the structural changes. some of the brick masons have not undergone them. i think there is an interesting change occurring in the americas based on trade and growth via trade.
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peru, and colombia. it is happening, and it is real. lex we spend so much time talking about china specific to asia, and there is work going on in the americas. i do not see people realizing what a wild success it was. , how successful it turned out to be. ttp is on the agenda. can oneransformational -- $1.2 billion a day of trade going back between united states be? it is profound. >> what are you going to do about it? i want you to think about it. make a commitment right now.
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what are you going to do about all this? tell me what you're going to do about it. it is absolutely true. >> what may look south, we have a trading partner that is imbalanced with the u.s.. normal --ntially in a an enormous source of labor and energy. society is going to need in the future. this is our future. have avery lucky that we country like mexico on our border that has this youthful and energetic population. round them up and send them home -- our economy would collapse. he couldn't function without our
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guest workers. why we are playing ostrich on that subject is beyond me. to get back to immigration. [applause] >> what about the opportunities. >> our fastest-growing region is latin america. our fastest-growing region is latin america because the internet is being improved in latin america quickly. the growth of these middle classes prisons a revenue support. for many internet companies. these are people who want the things we have in the united states. to think about the politics of the united states, hispanics are the fastest-growing subset -- subset. it is good business to look south. there is a lot of talent there. >> let's move to the impact of
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culture. that i bought of these popular tv shows, and television dramas are playing a big role in educating. about the sons and mexicors of oligarchs in . it is showing how the sons and daughters of the rich families are forced to know how the other half live. is is playing a major role? >> i think creative industries have always played a role. increasingly so, as that content becomes even more because of the platforms he is being put on. if you look at the americas, one of the unique advantages we have
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is the incredible power of culture and creative industries. i do not have to tell you what it means to the united states. think of mexico, the largest provider of spanish-speaking media content in the world. these industries provide not only a unique narrative of our country and other parts of the world as to who we are, how we are, how we think, but also, again, they are turning into huge economic engines through on -- through the americas. .hey boil down to the issue it is a layer cake, where the city as the hub of colts renovation is playing a unique role in international systems going back to the middle ages of
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city states. cities of the world, you have london, the rio, mexico city and it is here where it is taking place. it is cultural industries that play a unique role. in terms of value systems, education. educating people's. -- become >> one of the problems is the boom in content, how you find good stuff. you are drowning in it. outdoor rhythms are being invented -- algorithms are being invented to cultivate what you are seeking out.
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how do you find it? i think it is a flattening. i want to hear about it. i'm a complete binge watcher of danish drama shows. the only way i know about them -- that is the way i find it. i only find it because somebody personally has recommended to me. how do you sort good from the bad? had we make sure society is not grounding garbage? [laughter] >> a lot of people would view current television in a different way. we went from three television tonnels to 50, to 500,
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10,000. if you look at the current version of youtube, you will see we have moved to a model where we suggest a set of channels you might like based on what we have been able to gather about who you are. >> i keep being told i want more danish traumas. -- dramas. i don't want anymore. i'm drowning. >> and you he speak the language. we need to uncheck that box. we learn -- these are learning algorithms. these systems are not perfect. they attempt to learn your preferences. netflix is a simple example. based on your pattern and what other people have done, associative matching, if you like these three, and other people like these three, and
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also like this fourth, netflix will suggest the fourth one to you. that is a good thing. we are very similar to people of the same background and education, social. said give meitor what i never knew i wanted. >> that is called serendipity. -- i'm sorry to disagree with you, it can be programmed. [laughter] job.u want to take away my you're a menace, taking away jobs. [laughter] >> several always be people who are talented taste makers who will be needed to judge the quality of the algorithms. you have a job. >> what a relief.
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is distribution cain, or is content king? keene, or isution content king? >> i want to say that google is probably employing some of the brightest people in the world's trying to reverse engineer algorithms. how you come to the top of the list on the search. it isn't entirely clear how they do that. it is a little bit of magic and serendipity. it is driven by some kind of long-term maximization, i am sure. >> that is not true. it is actually not what we do. a deep thinker, donald
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notfeld -- she says it is what you don't know, it's what you don't know you don't know. [laughter] it is somewhat circular. at the end of the day, the media and retain that business is about -- the media entertainment business is about content. -- thatalways thinking king.ways the ken in less efforts to do a better job, more efficient job of connecting people to what they want. the winner is the guy who does that most efficiently and effectively. >> what you think of unbundling?
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my concern about that is that quality content, if it is unbundled, let's face it, no one is going to tune in. there is no availability of quality. suggestedians have that there is a political solution to this bundling thing. you have to buy the whole thing or you can't have any of it. which is really in the control of the content owners, not in the control of the distributors. be the technology will solution to that. they will have reyna maxis to what they do want and will select it.
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they will avoid buying the package that has cost burden of things they do not want. competitive to allow this current anomaly to persist. that would be my guess. >> what i find interesting about it, it is leaping ahead with technology, they're going to leapfrog over faces we have been through. going straighte to mobile. tot is that going to do innovation of content and technology? >> if it turns out the countries building the traditional infrastructure is almost impossible. it takes too long. people are skipping three g networks.
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looking at most countries, the worst countries, there is one problem. the telecommunications carrier. the only possible legitimate somalia is communications. i am serious. i want to comment about this thing of content. naïvely assumey that hollywood did not fully find all the talented people. if we would just wire the world the internet, all of these incredibly creative people sitting in strange places would show up one day. indeed, there was evidence of that. it looks like hollywood -- i'm using that as a metaphor. holly dead -- hollywood does an incredibly good job of finding
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them. what we're seeing now is interesting. the next generation of hollywood studios are producing for the internet. i would expect the same phenomenon to occur in all of americas countries. it is simply so inexpensive to produce a quality show for youtube and facebook. the cost is lower. it is more competitive. we're seeing a generational shift. that is important for the business models of content creator companies as they figure out how to monetize this new content. they're producing more content. it is more professional. it has different access points. and there is a lot of that. a goes back to your earlier point of duration. >> let me quickly get back to the issue of what is happening with technology in the americas.
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part of that is because not only what is described here, but some of these platforms like mobile phones are being used to plug in --ple, but they are used for it is being used for wireless. it is being used to provide handheld devices. you not only leapfrog certain aspects of what has happened in other economies, but it is being this uses ofse of talking or calling someone. >> the enormous amount of
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terribleit is in things to the actual people producing it. they have never felt for -- p oorer than they do. they can get paid like they used to be paid. so makers find that they can get paid what they used to be paid. there is a tremendous hardship in the area producing creative intellectual content. had you feel about that? it's a very serious issue. the thing that is most it threat is investigative reporting in newspapers. >> the core issue is the
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economics. it straightens out the economic system in industries. the jobs that over time will drive people to a choice. they will not necessarily just a bundle. you are going to see that in many industries. the core problem and the internet as we have not been able to yet replace the modernization in the old model by the new model. >> happy writers i know are on that -- half of the writers i know are in a desert. >> there are three interesting success stories. one of which is yours. another one is the huffington post. another is political. those are models where a combination of lover editing,
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advertising, target demographics more to disrupt the incumbents. another example is in magazines. a tremendous concern that magazines are going to go away when the ipad showed up. the monetization was quite good. general magazines became more difficult. especially because you can now hyperlink deeper. we are in a technological transition driven by consumer behavior. it is very deceptive. there are new choices. like -- we are ending the near of the time. before i turn to the questions from the audience, i wanted to ask our panelists there was a single initiative or partnership
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that they need to see happen after this conference in terms of an idea they want to put out there about this region? what would you like to see happen in terms of using thistunities and expanding new vibrancy out there? >> i would like to see everybody sign up for the cato institute and the libertarian society. >> that is scary. that is a scary idea. [laughter] we will eval on the table. a set of treaties among the americas which would harmonize the trading rules, access, the ways in which the capital flows.
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it is worth figuring out what those are. over and over again, these are friendly markets, compatible people with common language. there is good business reasons to do this. we are stronger with strong economics. we are weaker with bad economics . the problems and latin america, countries that are in trouble, they will impact us. the problems that goes on in the countries will spill over into the stable partnerships we need. be asd neighbors to stable as chile. >> you rapidly right. -- you are absolutely right. andite the pivot to asia the attention being brought to market china, the huge
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and challenges the rise of china brings, the americas are unique. there is a set of core values that bind us together. human capital is our most important. i was born in mexico. i now live in the united states. all we have in the americas, the future promise of the hemisphere. that is we have to bind together, whether it is through the tpp and expanded trade agreements that will bind those countries, providing issues that backnot put on the table in 1993 because we knew they would derail the negotiations, labor mobility.
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united states wanted to put energy reform. we left them on the table. what a surprise, 20 years after, we are at the 20 year mark of nafta having been signed. we are back to labor and energy mobility. these are what have impacts on the hemisphere's ability to grow . i think it is a huge act of the americas, especially when you look at europe or asia pacific. >> thank you. i would like to go to the audience. [applause] i would like to be the first? -- who would like to be the first? [indiscernible] would you identify yourself? do you have a mic?
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>> [indiscernible] >> good question. what is going to happen to privacy areas? answer to thec devices you are describing. they have an off button. it is important to turn them off. that is the simplest answer to that question. the general question is much
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more complicated. these tools and technologies naturally aggregate data and the normal course of business. everybody here has a mobile phone. knows whereveryone you want. because it is regulated and not being misused. you will see that kind of privacy rules. it will initially the voluntary but maybe for some people. >> [indiscernible] >> we should talk about canada.
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climate changes affecting the polls much more than effects the --ator for physics redesigns for physics reasons. -- from a canadian perspective, it is an opportunity or new revenue sources. is a good question because five of the largest by a diverse countries on the face of the earth on the americas. that provides the americas is huge. there are significant challenges. ,hey could be caribbean nations a rise in sea levels. issue of national security and survival.
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it would not be hard to imagine huge demographic displacements as a result of climate change in the americas. migrating patterns that have nothing to do with the economy, whether a job can be had. but could be linked to profound climatic changes that have traded everything from landslides to hurricanes. we have to start thinking of some of these challenges throughout the americas. especially because of the huge natural biodiversity. all the nations, from the most vile diverse countries on the face of the earth are here. are undergoing climate change. this is going to put pressure on a lot of economic systems. the availability of water. the impact on health. the expansion of sectors of
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toease, from isolated areas moderate climates. we're seeing that spreading of fungus is.nt this is something that is happening, our ability to slow it down or aversive is in some question. certainly it is going to put pressure on mankind to adapt to it and deal with it. and slow it down where possible. that is the phenomenon we are experiencing right now. it will have substantial impact on businesses. just -- justare health care alone is going to be affected. water supplies disappear.
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it is going to put a lot of pressure on food supplies. the pure deuterium nation of the quality of the soils in the world. they now have less than half of the organic matter they had 100 years ago. of unleashing human potential for our world.
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>> i think we're actually on the cusp of a tipping point in a big global movement that i'm seeing everywhere, actually. i mean, you're seeing -- there are fruits in a sense of many things. the work he's done in the state department has been far more influential than people understood while she was in that position. she has used that sort of pulpit in a sense in the last four years to talk about the empowerment of women and talk about the eek come nicks of women and that's what we're seeing now in many, many countries. we're seeing a lot of incredible energy coming out of africa and brazil. you're seeing how social media is really changing the game for women, so that in issues like domestic violence which has been
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such a plight so places like in india where you saw the outcry over the young woman's rape that would not happen now. and women in india are motivated and uniting and vowing that this will now change. i think we're seeing a very exciting moment for women actually. great growth area, a huge commercial opportunity and it's so interesting to me how it has been so ignored as a sector for so long that even today you feel that it's -- a woman's issue. we talk about women's issues. it's not about women's issues but economic issues and growth issues and gdp issues and harry has done a good job of reframing that discussion so it's not like we should do this for women, as it is this is insane we're ignoring half of the market and
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unleashing the moment for woman. i'm glad i'm a woman. i don't mind being the only woman up here as a result. >> any other questions >> fred taylor, denver, colorado. thank you for doing this. we've been talking about technological revolution and led by the next generation all younger than you and me. and you talk about the best and the pwraoeuest and the people you see all the time. what are american universities doing right and what are they doing wrong to educate the next generation? >> 18 of the top 20 world research universities are in america. so it's fair to say that the universities as a group are producing outstanding at the elite level. the community college system needs a lot of work. it's underfunded. it provides tremendous needed
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educational services that are ignored and undervalued in my opinion. the core problem in america is not the college system which is highly competitive, naturally ranked. you know where you are reasonably well funded with the exception of the community funded. the real problem is k-12 and that is something where we have a whole afternoon in this session about thursday or friday, i believe. i guess i would suggest that you sort of participate in that. and the other problems are endemic to social culture, unions, work rules and educational standards and measurement testing, et cetera. all of which is not a problem at the social level. >> we have a program here in denver thanks to our now governor and former mayor called denver school of science and technology which is a
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public/private effort charter school effort funded similarly to the rest of the public school education. it particularly is aimed at the inner city youth of denver. the results are not been short of staggering in terms of the quality of the education that's being provideed and the results, the graduation rates and the college admission rates. 92% of the kids that enter the program are still in college a year after admission. 80% of them they're the first person in their family to go to a college. so the results are there. it's a doable and a solvable problem. most of these kids choose as a career path science or technology where they're actually able to find good
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employment. so later on -- >> to hammer the point away we were talking about this question of global competitiveness and all of us would agree in a free trade especially within the americas is a huge improvement. the core issue we'll face globally is that the asian models are producing more technically trained adults. whether you like it or not, it is a fact on a percentage basis they're producing a very large number of scientists and engineers. if that continues and if we don't address it through greater productivity and creativity and all the things we're talking about, then they'll start becoming over decades more invasion as opposed to here. that's a disaster. >> that's a good place to end it. a warning for us all to take aso
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much of what we've heard today and one of the most -- most of the things and the biggest thing to take away i think is what arturo mentioned how much this is coming from urban environments like denver, vibrant mixes where you will kherl and ethnic and business and entertainment all mix up together. so this is what what we'll talk about more in the next two-days and i want to thank all of you very much for coming and our panelists who have been so interesting. [applause] lawmakers in recess for august, we're bringing you some of their town hall meetings. tomorrow republican senator john mc cain in tucson, arizona and house minority leader nancy pill lowsy in san francisco.
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we'll show you those at 10:45 eastern here on c-span. more events taking place with members of the congress like this past friday's north iowa wing ding fund-raiser with tkepl kraltic senator. she was the keynote speaker at this event. here is some of the minnesota senator's remarks. >> so i see us right now as a stable economy but on the cusp of great economic gains but there is something that is holding us back, something that's hold us back and to me it's the group in congress. obstructionism and extremism holding us back and too many americans are realizing the promise of america. look at the crew who has graced your state the past few months talking about shutting our
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government down again. their goal, they want to cause one big government traffic jam. the only problem they won't pay for the roads and bridges to get us out of it. there are two things that really bug me about this obstructionism: first, they seem to forget these are real people that will be affected by these moves and even in the midst of this recovery, we all know people. the kid in cedar rapids who wantses to become a teacher but can't afford college, the dad who lost his job at the craft foods in may son city and wants to get retrained but can't get the right program so he gets the skills again to go back to work and support his family or the family in waterloo who is working harder to pay the mortgage. i don't have to tell you that too many americans are still falling behind, unable to get educations to match the skills for the jobs that are open or find a good paying job or pay
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for their security. the other thing that bothers me about some of the things that these people are saying and i'm telling you they're telling in your states more than a lot of other states right now and that is there's actual awhole bunch of things we could be doing right now to help people get jobs to stabilize the economy even more to grow the economy, to strengthen the middle class and i think there are things everyone could agree on. i think we could come together on an invasion agenda and one of your governor candidates mentioned this. this simple idea we no longer can afford to be a country that just turns money around on wall street. we have to be a country that makes stuff again and invents things and that exports to the world. this means making sure and embracing the president's idea we double exports so we're making things again and they're going to other countries. exports in iowa are about
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agriculture, right, but also about manufacturing and farm equipment. farm equipment isn't going just to the united states, it's going all over the world. there's a guy north of here in minnesota and he has a company where he does trenchless digging where he puts this huge pipe underneath the ground and then pushes another pipe so that he can make sewer and water and space for that, especially in countries like china and india that are finally building infrastructure that they can't up root all their neighborhood. he has 77 employees in a corn field all because of exports. so it isn't just about big businesses but about medium and small businesses as well. >> you can watch the senator's full remarks tomorrow night at 9:45 eastern on c-span or as always go online to our video library at >> this is a place where you have to know what you're about
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because they're going to be other people who want to tell was you're about and those people don't have your best interest in mind. so that's where kind of survivalist manhood becomes insistent about being what i am and being fixed to what i am. open question is how much is that unique to prisons and is that how most americans are who are strangely absolutists and pluralists at the same time, my truth is the one true truth but i recognize your right to your wrong truth. i don't know the answer to that. >> sunday night at 9:00 on afterwards, part of book tv on c-span two. >> next a conversation about the u.s. prison system and ways to address issues of overcrowding and high incarceration costs. this is an hour from this
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morning's washington journal. for our next hour a discussion on the prison systems particularly overcrowding and what it means for sentencing. this is spurred on by the skwroerpb general who spoke this week on this topic and at the meeting at the american bar association he talked about proposals he made to end mandatory minimum sentences for non violent drug offenders and he had bipartisan congressional support. here's what he had to say. >> why i have mandateed a modification of the justice department's charging policies so certain low-level non violent drug offenders who have no ties to cartels or organizations will no longer be charged with offenses minimum sentences. they'll now be charged with offenses for which the accompanying sentences are better suited to their individual conduct rather than
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access shiv prison terms more appropriate for violent criminals or drug king pins. by observing the most severe personalities for serious high level drug traffickers we can better promote rehabilitation while making our expenditures smarter. we have seen this has support in congress where a number of senators have introduced what i think is very promising legislation aimed at giving federal judges more discretion in applying mandatory minimums to certain drug offenders. such legislation will ultimately save the country billions of dollars while keeping us more safe. and the president and i look forward to working with members of both partys to refine and advance these proposals. >> again, joining us for this discussion are two guests familiar with the topics that the attorney general brought up as well as other topics related
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to it. they are mark mauer and richard also joins us with the group right on crime and he's the signatory with the group. thank you for joining us. can we start with the connection between what the attorney general said and what it means for the current population that we have in federal prisons today, mr. phaurer? >> it remains to be seen in part. but what we've seen up until now far too many people are getting excessive mandatory prison sentences for conduct that doesn't deserve require, 5, 10, 20 years in prison sometimes and that's because many of the mandatory sentences one size fits all and it doesn't take into account individual characteristics. this allows little more discretion. >> as far as the strategy that mr. holder is going to employ going forward, what do you think about his proposals? >> i think it makes a lot of
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sense. i think the prosecutors can only do so much. much of that will be up to congress as well. >> same two questions about what the attorney general has said and what it means for prison populations. >> conservatives welcome beit. we've been fighting it for years. they've been providing the leadership on this issue. we have a situation where our criminal justice system, prisons are seriously broken, so conservatives welcome the liberals and this is a lot of low-hanging fruit that conservatives and liberals can get together on and address this issue. by the way, pedro, i think that it is only conservatives that can lead on this. the liberals don't have the credibility. they're not trusted on this issue and they're afraid to.
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by the way with good cause it has been attacked a lot over the years for being soft on crime for good reasons. so now it's incumbent on the conservatives. you're seeing them right on crime and texas public policy institute and many others are beginning to move forward to add this issue to the conservatives. i think you'll see this issue move front and center quickly. >> what about the attorney general targeting certain type of drug offenses. >> absolutely. america has 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisoners. we have far too many people in prison. they should be under house arrest and should be in community programs. we have far too many people in prison that should not be there. when they're in prison they're mistreated many times and come out worse than when they went in. we need to address the entire criminal justice system, not
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just prisons. >> mr. maurer what's the connection between the current state of principals as far as overcrowding and those who receive sentences because of drug offenses? >> well, the federal system is particularly extreme. little over 200,000 people in federal prison, half of them are there for drug offense. it's greater proportion in the state principals. in the federal prison system i think it's become quite clear. far too many of these people are in the lower levels of the drug trade which means that either they could be prosecuted in state courts when that's appropriate to do so, at the very least they don't necessarily deserve, require and for public safety services it's not use. for them to get mandatory minimum sentences. if we could have an impact on how they're charged and prosecuted it could make a significant difference in the population. >> over the past five years according to information we gathered the number of inmates that occur in segregated housing has grown at a faster rate than
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the general population according to solitary inmates spend 22, 24 hours a day in some cases isolation. long term solitary confinement has adverse effects on mental status. $87 million for long term confinement. for about 2,000 inmates in 2012. that and other topics will be our topic of discussion for the next hour or so. if you want to ask our guests about it. if you are previously incarcerateed and you have experiences to tell us, especially amongst the topics give us a call at 202-3 at 5-3881. if you're in the correction system whether a guard or other capacitys and you want to give your perspective. 202-threat at 5-38880. can we start with basics and
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academics. what do you mean by mandatory minimum? >> they're policies set by legislative bodies. we have them in the federal system. every state has mandatory sentences. particularly they're applied to drug offenses and gun offenses and the like. once a person has been found guilty of a specific crime, the judge is not permitted to take individual characteristics into account. for example, if there's a history of drug or alcohol abuse by the defendant, it's a single mother with two children here going to be in foster care if the mother is incarcerated or abuse, the judge can't look at that. not to excuse or condone it but to take it into account. that's why we have seen congress has had a crack cocaine mandatory sentencing law passed
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in 1986 that required a sentence five years in prison for five grams of crack cocaine. that was revised in 2010, but judges in many cases, federal judges, felt they pain to have to impose these sentences because they didn't think the individual deserved that much prison time. >> do you think judges should have flexibility as far as the mandatory minimum sentences? >> i think they should. the problem is that you do have a one size fits all policy when you have mandatory sentencing and every judge and every attorney in the courtroom can tell you no two cases are ever exactly alike and that's why we have to look at the offense and look at the defendant and determine what's best for the interest of justice. >> what about the judge's flexibility on that? >> many we'll identify this morning, an exam phrrbgs where the left and the right can come together. we can pretty much all agree that one size fits all doesn't work. we need to get rid of minimum sentencing and need to get rid
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of three strikes and you're out. i mean, we have just handcuffed these judges in such a way that it's harmful not only to the prisoners and their families but to society in general. >> give judges flexibility? >> absolutely. this idea that as marc said, a small amount of illegal drugs can spend you to prison for 10, 15, 20 years that abarbaric. >> how often are they revised to see if changes are needed? >> i'm not aware of that. marc would be the expert. >> they're not looked at any kind of basis or so. with the crack cocaine penalties they were within a few short years and broadly contract kaoebged from bar associations and federal judges and others took 24 years before 2010 but
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before there was any revision. at the state level new york had the notorious rockefeller drug laws and took more than 30 years before those were revised. that's the problem with passing legislation in the heat of the motion. you can pass it in 20 minutes and sometimes takes 20 years to undue the harm. >> ultimately the source of the revision will be congress or the justice department? >> only congress can change the law. that's why the attorney general is encouraging his prosecutors to use their discretion and how they charge the case to have an impact. as the attorney general recognizes only congress can change the law and that's why there is legislation now pending to do that. >> do you give judges to make changes, is there a concern each judge can become an activist in how they meet their responsibility? >> absolutely. that's why they have minimum
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laws on the books now because too many judges were too lenient in times gone by. but the pendulum has swung too far the other way. we've got to find a babalance a it's destroying too many lives. not only the prisoners but the spouses and communities are being hurt by this. but we can't allow that to prevents us from moving forward. it's wonderful when what the attorney general has done in terms of bringing this issue to light here, but remember, only about 14% of our country's prisoners in federal prison. about 86% of these people are in state and local principals and that doesn't address that at all. >> we'll bring that up later on. a little bit about the guests we have. richard with right on crime. first of all, what is right on crime? >> right on crime is a project of the texas public pollpyicy
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foundation and a project that they have founded to provide an opportunity for conservatives to speak out on the issues that we're talking about here. people from jeb bush, newt begin tkpwreufp, dave king, toni perkins, kenny nance, pretty much the spectrum of conservatives have signed on board and it's an issue that n conservatives are focusing on. >> what is the sentencing project? >> we're engaged in research and policy advocacy around criminal issues broadly speaking. >> if you want to give us a call we divided amongst all others. if you have been in prison and want to give your not or serve in the corrections department or corrections facility in some capacity can you give your thoughts as well and there are the lines that will be on your
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screen. regina is up first from richmond, virginia. thank you for waiting. go ahead. >> yes, good morning gentlemen. i wanted to know exactly what the gentleman for the right crime where to conservatives stand with the proposal that was made last tuesday? >> conservatives, as i said, welcome the attorney general to this issue. it's an issue that many governors and legislatures have been addressing now for some years. so we applaud it and we do -- we have some concern that the attorney general go through the proper channels as marc has said. this is something that congress has to deal with and we've seen too many times from a conservative perspective the obama administration ignore is the law and saying because
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congress is not acting i'm going to aouunilaterally act. >> are you concerned about channel that's are taken on this process? >> i think the attorney general is saying yes, i think congress should look at these laws and change them within appropriate. this is within my power what the u.s. attorneys can do. the important thing there is nothing new about this. prosecutors are using their discretion every day determining which cases to bring to court and how strong the evidence is and what kind of plea negotiations to engage in. all those kinds of things and prior attorneys general have issued sorted of policy guidances to their prosecutors up and down the line, sometimes more severe ways and sometimes
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more lenient way. so he's saying this is what best will achieve the interest of justice and this is how i'd like to you use that discretion you have anyway. >> i think it's particularly important that he go through the legislative process and laws are passed and the president sign them. because what one attorney general says can be undone by the next attorney general. we need to incorporate this in your laws. >> chicago, illinois, ron. good morning. go ahead. >> yes. i was previously incarcerated. hello? >> you're on, sir. >> i was previously incarcerated in segregation and what i come -- this is based on experience. what i come to realize and understand is that any time you put mandatory sentence or one size fits all, there's over million people that are
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incarcerated in the united states and majority of them are for drugs. the process needs to be taken out of drugs. you only have 535 people lawmen making legislation across the board for other 500 million people. they need to take the profit out of it. i don't care which way they do as far as with any time you put one time one shoe fits all, it doesn't matter which way. they need to take the profit out of it. then you will be able to see some type of -- get some help or some type of rehabilitation. i'm not talking about violent crimes. as long as there is profit in the drugs we'll have this problem, man. >> thank you, caller.
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>> well, back in the 1980's there was a drug problem and we still have one idea. the way that congress and state legislative bodies declared a war on drugs and a war supported by republicans and democrats, the federal and state level. it was a narrow war on many respects and primary fought through the facilities. we neglected the front end and the prevention treatment side. yes, there are thing going on but in terms of how much funding resources go into that and focused on the back end and we need to rebalance the approach. >> without saying the caller was saying we need to decriminalize illegal drug use. that's an issue worthy of many hours on c-span.
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i think that it is not a low hanging fruit. there are many low-hanging fruit issues that republicans and conservatives can agree on and i think we ought to save it for down the road. but we have what something approximating 2 million people in prison, 40 years ago we had 200,000. we have got a serious problem we can address today and get many of those people out and back in the communitys and with their families and con tkretributing society. and dozens of low-hanging fruit issues that we can agree on. >> what the attorney general proposed as far as who gets sentences and what type, does that change the posture of americans? >> whenever the attorney general has brought an issue front and center i think that supplement
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is conservative and we need to take it in a national level and deal with it. republicans have been out there for a while and the democrats have joined the issue. i hope we don't get bogged down in things that divide us but things unite us and make huge gains in people's lives. >> i think it was a courageous speech that the attorney general made and quite a bit of tension and there has been quite a bit of activity over the last decade ago. we have expansion of drug courts around the country trying to divert people into treatment rather than incarceration and broad range of alternatives in incarceration and policy makerm. one of the main problems we have is that you can talk to any judge in the country and say dow
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enough drug treatment slots to put people into treatment who need that, there's not a single judge that say they have all the slots they need. there is a real imbalance as well. >> felix from spring hill, florida. hello. >> good horning and thank you for c-span. in my almost 30 years in the corrections system or criminal justice system, i just have seen in interviewing numerous inmates, many of them feel they didn't get equal representation or appropriate representation when going through their cases in courts and that's an aspect that needs to be examined closely and that's been a problem for years. poor people have never gotten the same representation as the wealthy have received. the other thing after prison, what services or programs are there to keep these people out of prison are far and few in
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between. many of these people released from prison, they're not prepared to return to society. when they go for employment if they're able to find a job based on their skills, they're questioned they're convicted felonys and disenfranchised from gainful employment. based on that you're looking at the possibility of recidivism. over crude -- overcrowding is a big topic. >> what do you think about the attorney general's proposal and what it would do for overcrowding >> i think it's been overdue. there is a multitude of individuals in prison for possession of controlled substance or low-level traffic. but i think someone who has the courage to speak up on this, i give him kudos.
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>> do you want to take on one of the points he brought up? >> i applaud him. these comments like these high percentage prisoners are not ready to go back in the community and not able to be employable. and we need to address so many issues. mental health issues. there are many, many examples of where the system is broken and it's exciting to hear these callers call in. i don't really have a problem except decriminalization of tkrub z. /* /- drugs. >> how many people who have lower offenses are mixed in with other people who have higher offenses, like king pins. is there some separation between the two? >> not necessarily in most places. prisons have maximum uhm, medium and low prisons. and it's based on your crime and behavior in prison. sometimes we say this is a
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burglar or a drug seller. it doesn't always work out quite as cleanly as that. people involved in criminal activity will shift around and do different things. the potential for rehabilitation vary as lot too and often the corrections system people tell you who is the most sort of dependable people and usually it's their lifers. and they tend to be the most stable population win the system. so it's based of the individual's behavior and how people are treated and how the system is set up. >> greenville, south carolina. jim serves in the corrections department. good morning. >> good morning. how come you didn't put two different points of view on this program? i mean, these two sound like book ends and it's obvious these people are removed from the community because they were
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causing disturbances in the community and they put them right back. if i was an an officer or copy would at this point i was a military policeman but i would stop arresting people or doing my job. i mean, why? you're just gonna put them out and somebody's let them right back out and they'll shoplift. i don't think anybody gets a prison term like he says a little stash of pot. it's because it's the third or forth conviction of not just drugs but other problems too. these people are breaking the law to provide themselves drugs and do all the other things that drugs play havoc with their behind and whether it's spousal abuse or whatever, drugs lead to all kinds of problems. the vast majority of people, you're not going to be happy that you're letting them out to your community and i don't think the police are either. you're gonna cause more money to
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reincarcerate them through the court system and the police system and putting them back in prison for perhaps some later worse crime they commit. >> here's the issue, we're talking about public safety. we have a finite amount of dollars to put into public safety and it's a question of how we want to use that. if we have a kid on the street corner who is a low level drug seller and arrested and it's $25,000 a year. let's say he gets a five-year maner to minimum sentence so the tax payers will spend $125,000 to take one kid off the street corner who will be replaced on the same street corner. how do we want to spend our resources and how do we prevent that kind of drug problem in that neighborhood in the first place. i think we could do a lot more with that $125 multiplied over thousands of times. not many people will have a
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problem spending 100,$000 or more to keep a sex offender behind bars. >> the caller would be in a distinct small minority because the system and almost everybody can recognize now is seriously broken. it doesn't work for prisoners and they're families. it's tearing up families. you're taking the bread winner out of the family more times than not. that means the family there's children usually at home. the remaining spouse has to go on welfare and it's decimating families and many of them are coming out far worse than they go in. shoplifting as the caller goes in. so you go in for five years and you come out with a ph.d. in criminology. it's not working. 35 years ago we spent $9 billion and now it's over $52 billion
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and climbing and most states it's the second fastest growing port second only to medicaid. it's not working because these people go in for minor offenses, shoplifting and whatever, coming out as hardened criminals many times. so the system is broken across the board. i think we can all agree on that and just the idea of closing our minds to it and just say, just lock 'em up and throw the key away is too much of us. myself included, 40 years ago that was our attitude. >> tallahassee, florida. shirley joins us as our guest. >> good morning. i'm calling in reference to the fact that the gentleman from south carolina just to make the point of how this is in fact a humanity and moral issue and this is an conservative or liberal issue but a moral issue. the gentleman from south carolina speaks to that point. if in fact, the culture -- this
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is about a culture of a country whereas we have created criminalization and materialization as a means of an economic development. so the prison has provided an economic development aid and employment development for those people. therefore this cycle of million tearization and the complex of it for the police department we need to do many things. the homeland security department also, i think, when it was created created these different grants that come from the federal government, the barn grants and the edward barn memorial grants where they distribute monies for criminal just 'tis /* justice programs and you have a cycle that we created an economic and employment for rural communities where the principals are
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located. as it relates to the distribution of the states, florida and georgia and the southern states, the rural states where mostly the rural are they have in fact, yes, stopped creating prison budgets because of the budget recessions. here in florida, 100 prison beds built and not being used. you overbuilt because you created this culture of militaryization and economic development. >> thank you very much. mr. mauer, principals as an economic force. >> it is a driving force. they always are built in rural areas but that trends has accelerated in recent decades. now you get leaders who once would have resist go into their legislative leaders and begging them to build a prison for
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economic employment. that seems to be a disturbing situation. first of all, we can't come up with any other way in this country to help people in those rural areas gain reasonable employment. secondly, it's a problem because in most states people in prison tend to d-- so it exacerbates al the problems we've been talking about. >> we have a viewer the notion of private principals and how they factor into the overcrowding situations and the prison system aoverall. >> always follow the money. and there's money in building principals out there. and as marc said, they're built in rural areas because a lot of
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rural politicians have disproportionate amount of power and becomes a job program. and there is probably no stronger indicator of whether somebody's gonna come back into prison than do they go back out of prison into an intact family? if that family can be intact their chances of coming back are a lot less. when you build principals 3, 4, 500 miles away or send them to an out of state prison, they come mostly from the inner cities, many of them, low economic status, they can't afford to go there and rent a motel room and gas and travel and all that. so it doesn't help to keep the family intact. i think we need to pay alot of attention to that. the caller also talked about the humanity. couldn't agree more. this is an issue of compassion for our fellow human beings. we're just not treating these
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people right. not only many of them shouldn't be going into prison. when they're there, many of them are abused and it's horrendous conditions. california principason are a disaster. you have 50, 80 inmates with one toilet there and judges have come down hard on the governor, governor brown there. >> and the supreme court as well. >> it's horrendous. >> california is in the midst of a prison reduction of more than 30,000 people because the supreme court has said its conditions are unconstitutional and it's providing natural experiment now. what is happening people who formerly would have been sent to state prison are people kept in local counties, many of them are being supervised in the community setting instead. during the first several years of this very substantial reduction, there's been no adverse effect on crime rates in california. crime rates continue to go down or stay lower an as they have around the country. it may turn out to be a very good demonstration that you can
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achieve substantial reductions without harming public safety. >> i would think that if you break up a federal law you go to federal prison. what determines if you go to a state prison? >> i mean, most of the crimes are going to be state crimes what we commonly think of street crimes so it's property crimes, violent crimes and the like. federal crimes are those that require federal intervention. so it's interstate, drug traffic rings and organized crimes, crimes committed on federal property and the like. >> private principals how do they factor into this? >> they go to state and federal governments and they go with the promise we can do it cheap are for you and give us a contract and we'll keep people housed. the research to date, general accounting office doesn't show that the cost differenceal turns out to be anything significant. in many cases they've been some real problems in lack of training and oversight of the
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staffing in private principals. they're saying, we'll do it cheaper and also turn a profit for our shareholders. the main way to do that is paying your guards less and doing less training for them and unfortunately that's brought a long problems with it as well. >> you can save money by quality in the food and so many things suffer and prisoners suffer and that doesn't help anybody. >> here is maurice from knoxville, tennessee. and maurice, go ahead. >> thank you. yeah, i applaud eric's recent stance on how it's being applied to low-level drug offenders. the real injustice in the federal prison system since 1984 there is no parole in the prison system for non violent offenders. i think for the hundreds of
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thousands for the last years people who went through the system including myself, 85% of our time and being treated like violent offenders when simply we're non violent offenders and many first time non violent offenders. i don't hear about state and federal parole. can you address that, please. >> i think that i'm just thinking the caller was talking about for whatever reason republican presidents and democratic presidents don't exercise the only unilateral power they have. in the constitution there is one area they have total say over and they don't have to go to the congress for anything a. they just -- there are thousands and thousands of people thra they could help and send back in the communitys and the family by
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using the pardon authority power that they have. it's just shocking that presidents don't do that. >> yeah, what the caller brings up too is how much time people spebd spent in prison. one area that received too little attention is the extreme length of sentences not only for non violent crimes but people convicted of violent crime too. you get a case where an 18-year-old kid is involved in an armed robbery and he's a 40-year-old who grew up in prison essentially and some of them may be a threat to public safety and some of them have changed and they're not the same kid they were when they were 18. we need a way to look at those cases that we don't automatically assume that everyone is incapable of change. that's not the case at all.
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>> i'd like to identify with his comment. you're a different person than when you were 18. let's look at each individual case. >> but the caller specifically said you served 85% of your sentence where does that come from? >> the federal system, the idea was to remove discretion in large part from the system. the argument was discretion could be abuse which it can certainly. so one thing was to control the sentencing of judges but also so discretion in a parole position wouldn't factor in. the most can you get off for good time is 15% or so if you're sentenced for ten years. what we have are very long sentences with only a modest amount of time that can be taken off for that good behavior. >> i think that should be looked at, too. >> as far as how long that
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should be changed as well? >> exactly. when people have a long sentence and little opportunity for parole that's not conducive to good behavior necessarily. it's outrageous that people should serve 85% or more without any ability for a judge to review. >> armond up next. good morning. >> good morning. how are you? >> well. >> i'm calling to address the situation, it is about the money. if you think about it, it's -- everything about the money because if you think about after prohibition, look at all the money that the medical industry makes due to alcoholism or cigarettes that the tobacco industry makes. they make a lot of money, too. if they illegalize and kept prohibition maybe there wouldn't be so many alcoholics spending time in prison for dui's. i've had them myself and i experienced how far the money
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just climbs and climbs, the more that they get you into the system, the more money they make and they just keep pumping it into the system. i mean, it keeps people working. you're not going to stop that and that's why they're privatizing so many prisons because there is money to be made. >> thank you. david from auburn, new york. corrections official. hello. >> hello. i'm not an official. corrections officer. richard was right when he said that it was about money and it was about jobs and that seems to be a big topic and that's what i see. it's a complicated process and i've watched this prison system grow personnel wise over the 33 years that i've worked there. i'm about ready to retire and i'll be glad to do that.
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but i just wanted to give you my $0.02 worth. >> talk about the over crowding that we've been talking about. how do you see it play out when you go to work? >> aprisons are crowded. there is a demand to put people in prison. i don't see it in the particular prison i'm in, but we probably have a population of 1700 in that prison. if you want to talk about -- also there is another effect in prison by the way, the people who work there. we have about 700 employees in that prison. so, maybe 800. i'm not quite sure. i know the officers have gone up by probably 200 since the time i started in 1980. so, it's a process. it's a government bureaucracy.
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>> prisons are a stressful environment. they're stressful for the prisoners and guards and people who run them. we're putting people in cages who don't want to be there is what it comes down to. the challenge is if 95% of the people in prison are coming home some day what does it look like? we shouldn't have an overcrowded situation and provide them with adequate health care and nutrition and for so many people who have had poor education we need to do everything we can to prepare them to have a legitimate lifestyle when they get out. >> what exists as far as the transition as far as someone who is in the system and heading out. what does that do as far as the larger topic of overcrowding? >> obviously the more we can
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stop people from cycling through the better off we all are. fewer people committing crimes and fewer people in prison and the like. the problem is that prisons are inherently damaging to people, removing people from their community and putting them in a highly stressful environment. we're far better off trying to avoid sending people to prison in the first place than hoping we can turn them around once they're there because a lot of harm has been done. by investing in programs and interventions that strengthen the capacity of families and communities to prevent crime in the first place by looking at alternatives and dealing with the issues, that's a far better payoff in the long run. >> david, the caller commented that the prisons are a bureaucracy and they certainly are that. and i think it's been recent that concerns have been gun to
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realize the criminal justice system is part of the government and because it is part of the government it's got all the problems of any other government program. waste, fraud and abuse and just broken and just very, very serious and needs repair. one thing that we haven't talked about today which i know is an issue concerning to mark and myself and that he the mental issue. we have many people in prison who have mental issues and they need different treatment. they don't need to be put in solitary confinement. they'll deteriorate. we need to address the mental issues that we have in this country and not just warehouse people in prisons. >> the wall street journal has a story if you look at the rehabilitation process and they define drug court. what is that? >> it started about 1990 or so and the idea is very simple one
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basically and many people who are committed where the underlying problem is substance abuse that is driving them to get money or trouble controlling behavior. drug court says why don't we try treatment first rather than incarceration. if we can deal with it then we can reduce the incidence of crime. there are some 2800 drug courts around the country and judges embrace them and communities have embraced them. overall the research shows to date that drug courts don't work miracles. substance abuse is complicated but people who go through them successfully are less likely to commit crimes and less likely to use substances. the real challenges have diverted people from incarceration. sometimes we're not looking necessarily at the tougher cases where we could save more money by diverting people from prison. it shows there is public
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acceptance of doing the right thing and making interventions in a different way. >> oceanside, california. tom, good morning. joins us for a discussion about crowding in prison. >> i spent five years in prison about 20 years ago in california. when i got out i know all about -- i was in six different principals in california. they transfer you all over the place. my crime was kind of a higher type of a -- it was a higher crime. now that i'm out and i've been out for a long time i work with parole officers and early release programs and i work with inmates who are going to get out and that have gone out. these two guys are pretty close but they're far off. first of all, you should never let them out. ten% they should have never been there. most of people in there are in
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there because the drugs drove them do whatever they had to do to get the drug. when you got -- as far as -- it's a money game inside this prison. these guys are just basically baby-sitters retiring with $90,000 a year. when you walk the yards every day. i walked folsom and san quentin and worst principals and there is no type of developmental skills offered in those prisons, okay? once you walk in a prison you come out a marked man for life. there is no incentive for any of these guys who are coming out to ever go straight because they're marked with a felony. >> to the attorney general's efforts to change the sentencing of the crowding what do you think about that as far as affecting who gets into prison in the first place? >> the reason there is crowding because these guys have no hope when they get out.
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they're stuck with a felony for the rest of their life and they're marked. with the way everybody can pull up your background, these guys are done. they know it. they go out there and they bump their heads a thousand times trying to get work and they go right back to crime. once you give these guys some hope that are prison, you say, you go straight and we'll wipe your felony off and we'll clean it off after 10 or 15 years, then they have something to work for. but the way it is right now, every dude that walks into a prison, anyplace in the united states, can't get it expunged or anything will work. >> thank you. >> an interesting point that tom brings up. and i applaud him and it sounds like
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